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Encyclopedia > Thomas D'Arcy McGee

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Thomas D'Arcy McGee

Thomas D'Arcy McGee, (1825-1868) was a journalist and statesman.

Sometimes simply known as D'Arcy McGee, he was born on April 13, 1825 in Carlingford[?], Ireland. In 1843 at age 17 he emigrated to the United States where he found work as assistant editor of Patrick Donahoe[?]'s Boston Pilot[?] Catholic newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts. A few years later he returned to Ireland where he became politically active and edited the nationalist newspaper Nation. His support for the Fenians, forerunners of Sinn Féin, and his involvement in the armed uprising in Tipperary in 1848 resulted in a warrant for his arrest. McGee escaped the country and returned to the United States.

In the States, he founded Irish-American publications in New York City and Boston, and generally supported the cause of Irish immigrants. In 1857 he went to Canada where he set up the publication of the New Era in Montreal, Quebec. Politically active, his anti-England sentiments showed up again in his advocacy of Canadian independence from Great Britain. In 1858 he was elected to the Parliament of Canada and worked for the creation of an independent Canada.

Moderating his radical Irish views, McGee denounced the Fenian Brotherhood in America that advocated a forcible takeover of Canada from Great Britain by the United States. A faction of American Fenians sent an invasion force into Canada in 1866 that was repelled and arrested by American authorities. Canadians, with Irish sympathizers in their midst, and spurred by numerous rumors of another, more massive invasion, lived in fear of the Fenians for several years.

On April 7, 1868, D'Arcy McGee was assassinated in Ottawa, Ontario. Patrick J. Whelan, a Fenian sympathizer who was accused, tried, convicted, and hanged for the crime. Decades later, his guilt was questioned and many believe that he was falsely accused in order to be a scapegoat for the murder. His case is dramatized in the Canadian play, Blood On The Moon.

External links

The following is a list of some of McGee's writings:

  • Historical Sketches Of O'Connell And His Friends... biography 1845
  • Gallery Of Irish Writers 1846
  • A History Of The Irish Settlers In North America 1851-2
  • A History of the Attempts to establish the Protestant Reformation in Ireland, and the Successful Resistance of that People. (Time: 1540-1830.) 1853
  • The Catholic History of North America: Five Discourses, to Which are Added Two Discourses on the Relations of Ireland and America 1855
  • A Life Of The Rt Rev Edward Maginn... biography 1857
  • Canadian Ballads, And Occasional Verses poetry 1858
  • A Popular History of Ireland: From the Earliest Period to the Emancipation of the Catholics ca.1860
  • Emigration And Colonization In Canada 1862
  • The Crown And The Confederation under the pseudonym "A Backwoodsman", non-fiction 1864
  • Speeches And Addresses Chiefly On...British American Union 1865
  • Two Speeches On The Union Of The Provinces 1865
  • The Irish Position In British And In Republican North America 1866
  • The Poems Of Thomas D'Arcy McGee poetry 1869
  • A Memoir Of The Life And Conquest Of Art Macmurrogh... biography 1886
  • 1824- D'Arcy McGee- 1925. A Collection of the Speeches and Addresses Together With Complete Report of the Centennial Celebration of the Birth of the Honourable Thomas D'Arcy McGee at Ottawa, April 13th, 1925



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