Augustin-Norbert Morin (1803-1865) was a lawyer, journalist, politician, colonizer and judge. At the age of 19, he founded the "Minerve" (named after the Roman goddess of intelligence and wisdom), a Montreal political newspaper in affinity with the positions of Louis-Joseph Papineau and his Parti Canadien (or Parti Patriote). Throughout his life, Morin was an ardent defender of the rights of French-Canadians, his moderate tone inspiring the respect of his admirers and his opponents. As head of the administration of Lower Canada, he was co-premier of the Province of Canada with Sir Francis Hincks from 1851 to 1855. A committed philanthropist with great intellectual curiosity, he was also pragmatic and did not hesitate to put into practice avant-garde ideas, the fruit of his extensive reading.
When he was appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands (1842-43 and 1853-54), he built a house in what was then a mission in Abercrombie Township, on the North River, near the outlet of the Simon River. He encouraged settlers to follow him, and soon a village took shape, Sainte-Adèle, named after his wife. Morin set up mills and experimented with model farms while pursuing his political career.
His last great work was the writing of the Civil Code of Lower Canada with Charles Dewey Day and René-Édouard Caron. He died in Sainte-Adèle a few months before the Code came into force.