In 1701, New York, seeking another claim, obtained from the Iroquois a grant to the king of England of this territory which they claimed to have conquered but from which they had subsequently been expelled, and this grant was confirmed in 1726 and again in 1744 About 1730 English traders from Pennsylvania and Virginia began to visit the eastern and southern parts of the territory and the crisis approached as a French Canadian expedition under Celeron de Bienville took formal possession of the upper Ohio Valley by planting leaden plates at the mouths of the principal streams. This was in 1749 and in the same year George II.
In 1815 he became speaker of the house, being already recognized as the leader of the French Canadian party.
The aim of the French Canadian opposition at this time was to obtain financial and also constitutional reforms. Matters came to a head when the legislative assembly of Lower Canada refused supplies and Papineau arranged for concerted action with William Lyon Mackenzie, the leader of the reform party in Upper Canada.
It would thus seem that he was intriguing to bring about intervention by the United States with a view to annexation; and as the independence of the French Canadian race, which he professed to desire, could not have been achieved under the constitution of the American republic, it is inconsistent to regard his services to his fellow-countrymen as those of a true patriot.