Thomas Darcy McGEE
Father of Confederation in Canada, 1867
Member of Young Ireland until 1848
Assassinated in Ottawa, Canada in 1868
January 5, 2017:
Thomas D'Arcy McGee was an influential Irishman at the time of the Great Famine, Black '47. He was a leader of "Young Ireland" whose
leaders were arrested in 1848, except for McGee, who happened to be in Scotland at the time. The leaders were all exiled to North America
as was McGee when he returned to Ireland. He made his way from Boston, New York and Buffalo before settling in Montreal where he became a
member of parliament for the government, situated in Montreal at the time. He soon became a father of Canadian Confederation as an MP in Ottawa.
He was assassinated on Sparks Street in Ottawa in 1868.
McGee won the ear of the Canadian House of Assembly, and later,
for so short a time, the first Dominion Parliament. In McGee,
there blended happily a statesman and an artist of language,
the statesman always predominant because the native exuberance
of the Celt was in him disciplined by the reading and reflection
of a patient autodidact. ¥ith little formal education, this
silver-tongued Irishman had that which much education cannot
ensure, the instinct for the possible that is said to be the
master-key to political achievement, and is more often an
English than an Irish characteristic. To carry the message of
a golden mean to the Irish of North America, and specifically
of Canada, was the mission for which McGee at last gave his
life. The conservative Young Irelander of 1848, who objected
to armed revolt not as treason against the law but as treason
against common sense, had already sown among the "physical
force" wing of the rebels the seeds of a hatred which pursued
him throughout his career in North America and brought him to
an untimely death in Ottawa, twenty years later.
Source: THE IRISH MIGRATION TO MONTREAL, 1847 - 1867, M.A Thesis submitted to McGill University,
by George Rex Crowley Keep in 1948, page 98.
Feb. 21, 2001
Dr. David Shanahan is writing a biography of Thomas Darcy McGee. Dr. Shanahan, originally from Ireland, was a teacher at Carleton
University while doing his PhD. work there. He's now an Historical Consultant and has sent a
substantial excerpt from his M.A. and PhD. theses. This work is entitled The Making of Nations: The Irish Question in Canada, 1830-1925.
It's fascinating reading and contains a lot of information on Darcy McGee. Note to me: it is filed on the third, right shelf, no cover.
Many thanks for your e-mail. I think I may have some information on the Santa
Clara connection with McGee's daughter. I will look up my notes and get back
to you when I find more. I've been away in Ireland over the past few
weeks, doing some more research on our mutual friend at the National
Library of Ireland. If I only had more time for straight writing, I'd be
far further ahead with my McGee biography! Oh well, work does get in the way
of life, I suppose.
In any case, I'll be in touch when I get a chance to read through my
Surname: MCGEE, QUINN
One of my ancestors is Thomas D'Arcy Mcgee, the Irish poet who became one of the
Fathers of Confederation. He had a daughter named Euphrasia, who went by the
nickname "Fasa." She married an unknown Quinn (Francis Quinn) sometime after McGee's
assassination in 1868. Does anybody know who this mysterious Quinn might be,
or how I might find out?
The following text and photograph was sent by Taylor Kennedy:
It is April, 1868, and politics is already a fierce and contentious topic
in the brand new nation. One of the Fathers of Confederation, D'Arcy McGee,
struck down by an assassin's bullet, is accorded an enormous public funeral
down Montreal's St. James Street. By 9:00 am the streets are crowded to
suffocation with 60,000 mourners. The stores and offices are shut tight. At
least 20,000 men march in the funeral procession, which takes close to three
hours to pass by.
Again, from Taylor Kennedy, a quotation on the assassination of Thomas Darcy McGee:
McGee spoke at midnight on April 6, 1868. Shortly after one o'clock on the
morning of the 7th , the debate closed in Parliament. The members, while
putting on their coats, commented generally on McGee's speech, some who
thought it was the most effective they have ever heard him deliver. He lit
his cigar, and in the company of Macfarlane, a very intimate friend, went
down the board walk towards his lodging. It was an exhilarating night, with
a bright full moon and the tonic air of early spring. McGee was in elated
spirits. Perhaps part of his lightheartedness was caused by the reflection
that on the morrow he would return to Montreal, where his wife and daughters
were, within a few days to celebrate his forty third birthday. Letters from
home informed him of the preparations. At what is now one of Ottawa's busy
corners, that of Sparks and Metcalfe Streets, he left his friend, and alone
walked to his lodging on Sparks Street. As he endeavored to open his door
with a latch key, a slight figure glided up and at close range fired a
bullet into his head. There was no cry, only the deadly crack of the pistol,
and McGee pitched forward on his doorstep. His work done, the assassin
dashed away in the night, but left tell-tale steps in the snow, later to
assist in his conviction. Some inmates of the house, who had not retired,
immediately discovered the body, and soon the dreary news was circulating
through Ottawa and across the telegraph wires of the Dominion.
The following afternoon, Sir John A. Macdonald before a gloomy chamber
gave expression to the public sorrow, and in token of it adjourned the
House. Meanwhile Ottawa was feverishly searching for the assassin. The
prison was soon filled with suspects. The Dominion government offered
$5,000 reward for information concerning the culprit or culprits, and the
two provinces Quebec and Ontario, each offered $2,500. Incriminating
evidence quickly accumulated against Patrick James Whelan, a comparatively
young man, who's trial began on the 17th of the month. From the onset the
chain of circumstantial evidence against him was strong. He had long been
implicated in the Fenian movement, having been discharged from the army in
Quebec for Fenian sentiments. He had but recently come to Ottawa, and on
the night of the murder had been seen in the gallery of the house. After
his arrest there was found in his possession a revolver, one chamber of
which recently had been discharged. But the most conclusive of the many
facts of evidence was submitted by a French Canadian. Lacroix, who declared
that he saw Whelan commit the deed. Notwithstanding the weighty case
relentlessly built up by the prosecuting attorney the trial dragged wearily
into the following year. Finally, on February 11, 1869, Whelan, pleading
innocence to the end, met his death on the scaffold. It has remained
problematical how far he was the fatal instrument of the Fenian brotherhood
or how far his action, like that of the man who shot Lincoln, was due merely
to personal hate. The evidence would seem to make it clear that Whelan did
not receive instructions from a head centre outside the country, but that he
performed the deed to satisfy the hatred of himself and a few Canadian
Fenians whose identity is uncertain.
The picture I sent has the author beside him. Alexander Brady who was a
political science professor at the University of Toronto and was edited by
the Librarian of U of T, W. Stewart Wallace. The book has some ink writing on
the front page, Walter Carpenter , Xmas 1934, Dad. This book is number 11
under Canadian Statesmen. He may have written about all the fathers of
Also from Taylor, Jan. 7, 2001
By the way, yesterday I was at the Archives and copied
some minutes of town meetings for Carleton from 1854. Also here's a McGee
obit from today. It mentions his predeceased brother D'Arcy but I don't know
if it's the same one.
McGEE, Patrick L. As the result of an accident near Brockville on January
3rd, 2001; Patrick Lynal McGee at the age of 71 years. Beloved husband of
the late Shirley Mary Chisholm. Loving father of Nancy C. Miller of Whitby,
Lois E. Belan of Mississauga, Patrick J. McGee of Ganges, B.C., Michael L.
McGee of Medicine Hat, Alberta, and Owen J. McGee of Bell Ewart, Ontario.
Fondly remembered by seven grandchildren. Dear brother of Lorena Hoppe of
Fort Wright, Kentucky, Ronald McGee of North Delta, B.C., and Theresa
Delorme of Gloucester. Also survived by his sister-in-law Laurette McGee of
Winnipeg. Predeceased by his brothers James and Darcy and by his sister
Lois. The Liturgy of the Christian Funeral will be celebrated at St. Francis
Xavier Church, Brockville, on Saturday, January 20th at 12 noon with a
gathering to follow at the Irvine Funeral Home Reception Centre, 4 James
Street East, Brockville. Interment in the spring at Holy Cross Cemetery,
Kemptville. In remembrance, donations to the Cancer Society or the Ontario
Geneological Society - Leeds and Grenville Branch, will be gratefully
Here's more info from Jim Amsler. His new e-mail address is:
I live in Chicago now, and since you posted some information on
Thomas D'Arcy McGee at www.bytown.net/darmcgee.htm
... must have been a couple of years ago), I have since learned a few more
names to fill in the gaps.
His daughter Euphrasia eventually married Francis (or Frances) Quinn, the
banns indicating that they married in Montreal in 1874. Some time in the
1880's, they moved out to Santa Clara, California, where Francis became an
established "advocate" (I take that to mean lawyer.) Still no sign of when
or where they died, or where they are buried, but it is more than we knew
And that picture of his funeral processing on the web page is the best I
have seen. (Thanks Taylor!)
Thanks again! If you have further information, contact me at this e-mail
address. The Flashnet address is old...
August 22, 2001:
Note: There is a pub on Sparks Street in Ottawa called "Darcy McGees". It may be located in
the building where Darcy McGee was assassinated.
The only reason I'm aware of this pub is because my 25 year old son told me about it.
And I thought he wasn't interested in history.
February 9, 2002:
Greetings from Culdaff, Inishowen.
Most interesting information on your website. Perhaps you might like to see
Thomas D'Arcy McGee connections to this part of
Inishowen. (County Donegal, Ireland).
Kind thoughts and good wishes
Charles W. Clarke
March 5, 2002:
The Ottawa Citizen dated March 2, 2002 contains a well researched article on the
assassination of Darcy McGee in Ottawa in 1868.
James Patrick Whalen was (probably wrongly) convicted for this crime and hanged.
On March 5, 2002 the Citizen ran another article which mentions how Steven Pusiak is
trying to have James Patrick Whalen pardoned posthumously and to have the body exhumed
and transferred to Notre Dame Cemetery.
See also Patrick Whalen and Bridget Murphy
September 7, 2002:
Thanks to John Adshead for this great photograph of Darcy McGee
taken in the year of Canada's Confederation (oops! see posting dated March 8, 2006)
I enjoyed looking through Bytown or Bust. The section on Thomas Darcy McGee caught
my eye and I thought I would ask this group a question that I had been wondering
about for awhile.
About a year ago I was looking through an old leather bound family picture album
trying to figure out who the people were. One section was Metcalfe, McElroy, Ruddell
and Brown Irish ancestors of mine that all lived in Ottawa in the 1800's. The only
out of place picture that I do not know is a relative is the one I have attached.
Penciled on the back was "D'Arcy McGee Ottawa, 1867" and the photographers name
"E L Johnstone, Photographer, Goderich, Ontario (Negative Kept)". Several of the
above named relatives also came from the Goderich area. I know this is the Darcy
McGee from the recent pictures in the paper.
I was wondering if any of you doing Darcy's family history had found any references
to any of my Irish family names?
Thought you might like to add a picture of Darcy to the page - sent in GIF format
for web page posting, but if you would like a better format or size I would be happy to redo.
September 11, 2002:
Hello, John. Yup, that's him all right. Very interesting find you made there.
Unfortunately, I don't know if I can be much help to you. To answer your question,
no, none of the names you are researching have come up before in any of my McGee
research. I think it might be difficult to establish many solid genealogical links
between D'Arcy McGee and the families he knew in
Canada. Certainly, he has no ancestral links there. The only possibility might be
that one of his children might have married into one or another of the families
you are researching.
D'Arcy McGee, as far as I know, had two children survive into adulthood. One of
them, Euphrasia, is a gg Grandmother of mine, and she married a fellow named
Francis Quinn. His parents, it seems, were Susan McVey (or McBey) and Edward
Quinn. His grandparents were Quinn, McVey / McBey, Conway, and
Reid. None of those names are matches (although that really is as far back
as I know...)
This would suggest that, if there is a link, the link would be with the other
adult child, Peggy (Agnes Clara) McGee. I don't know much about her, except her
dates (born August 6, 1857, died in 1940). Certainly, she lived long enough to
be married. I'd think maybe that would be a good place to look?
Keep me abreast of your progress.
September 25, 2002:
Statue of Darcy McGee on Parliament Hill, Ottawa
December 22, 2002:
December 24, 2002:
Perhaps you might be interested in the attached photo from our recent
trip to Ireland. It is a memorial to Darcy McGee in the town of
Carlingford in County Louth. It was unveiled by Prime Minister Brian
May 22, 2003:
For more interesting material regarding Darcy McGee, see the Magee / Mcgee page.
July 11, 2003:
Thanks to Russell Friel who has sent along this copy of a wanted poster which his
GreatGrandfather, Henry Friel had printed in 1868 as mayor of Ottawa.
November 26, 2004:
Thanks to Sandra for the following newspaper article:
The Ottawa Citizen 1867-1967
Tuesday June 27,1967
"Special Centennial Edition"
April 27, 2005:
There was a large family of McMullen's who came to Ontario and settled on grants
of land in eastern Frontenac County and western Leeds County. There were at least
4 sons and 3 daughters.
Sarah McMullen married Andrew McArdle.
Their grandson, b. 1879, wrote later that Thomas D'Arcy McGee came first to this
McMullen family when he came to Canada. He later left and moved on to Montreal.
Sarah McMullen's parents were James McMullen and Bridget Talbot and they lived
in County Tyrone, Ireland.
I would love to receive any further information about this connection.
November 21, 2005:
Thanks to Mary Quinn for the following information:
John Joseph McGee was D'arcy McGee's half brother. His son, Frank McGee, was
a professional hockey player c. 1905 in Ottawa.
When doing additional searches I found:
- signed his name as both McGee and M'Gee
- born Apr 13, 1825 in Carlingford, County Louth (now Republic of Ireland)
- fifth child of James McGee and Dorcas Catherine Morgan
- assassinated 7 April 1868 in Ottawa
- his mother's family reputed to have been involved in the 1798 rebellion
- his father worked for the Coast Guard Service and in 1833 was transferred to
Wexford (bloody 1798 rebellion most vivid here)
- his mother died shortly after 1833
- in 1842 Thomas D'Arcy McGee left for North America - his father had remarried
- on July 13, 1847 he married Mary Theresa Caffrey and they had 5 daughters and
one son but only two daughters survived their father
(Peggy age 11 was awakened to be told of her fathers assassination ~ perhaps the
other daughter who outlived her father was Euphrasia (who married Frances Quinn)~
could find no reference however
... Mary Quinn
January 24, 2006:
Thanks to Clare Whitney for the following:
Here is some info I found on Catholic McGees from the Ottawa area who served in World War 1.
More info can be found on these individuals by typing their name into the database
for Soldiers of the First World War (1914-1918) found at (www.collectionscanada.ca).
... Clare Whitney
Andrew James McGee
date and place of birth: 12th Sept., 1897 - Eardley, Quebec (near Aylmer)
next of kin: Mrs. W. McGee (mother) - address: Eardley, Quebec
Bernard George McGee
date and place of birth: 27th June, 1896 - Eardley, Quebec
next of kin: Mary Ann McGee (mother) - address: 149 George St., Ottawa, Ont.
Charles Edward McGee
date and place of birth: 12th March, 1877 - Ottawa, Ont.
next of kin: John J. McGee - address: 185 Daly Ave., Ottawa, Ont.
* (John J. McGee was Thomas D'Arcy McGee's half brother and Charles Edward McGee is John J. McGee's son).
Charles Wellington McGee
date and place of birth: 2nd October, 1895 - Brockville, Ontario, Canada
next of kin: Mrs. Annie McGee (mother) - address: 87 Abbott St., Brockville, Ont.
date and place of birth: 17th March, 1891 - Belfast, Ireland
next of kin: William McGee (father) - address: 20, Preston Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Edward Hugh McGee
date and place of birth: January 12th, 1895 - Calumet Island, Que.
next of kin: Mrs. Elizabeth McGee (mother) - address: Dunraven, Que.
Frank Clarence McGee
date and place of birth: November 4th, 1882 - Ottawa, Canada
next of kin: John J. McGee - address: 185 Daly Ave., Ottawa
* (John J. McGee was Thomas D'Arcy McGee's half brother and Frank C. McGee is John J. McGee's son).
James Edward McGee
date and place of birth: January 29th, 1875 - Brockville, Ont., Canada
next of kin: Winnifred McGee (mother) - address: Brockville, Ont., Canada. (Church St.)
James Francis McGee
date and place of birth: 15th June, 1894 - Ottawa, Ont.
next of kin: Mrs. A. McGee - 177 Cambridge St., Ottawa, Ont., Canada
(my grandparents lived on Cambridge Street in the 1950's ... Al)
James Henry McGee
date and place of birth: Nov. 9th, 1896 - Spencerville, Ont.
next of kin: Mrs. Catherine Jane McGee (mother) - Mountain, Ont., R.R.#2
date and place of birth: March 12th, 1896 - Kingston, Ontario
next of kin: Mrs. Glenny? (sister) - 242 Dundas St., Toronto, Ont.
John Francis McGee
date and place of birth: 28th May, 1890 - South Gloucester, Ontario
next of kin: Mrs. Frank McGee (mother) - South Gloucester, Ontario, attended Our Lady of the Visitation Church)
date and place of birth: May 1st, 1884 - Belfast, Ireland
next of kin: J.D. McGee - Buckingham, Quebec
Peter Daniel McGee
date and place of birth: 26th October, 1896 - Beechgrove, Quebec, R.R. No.1
next of kin: Mrs. Margaret McGee (mother) - Beechgrove, Que.
date and place of birth: 10th Augt.?, 1891 - Cobden, Ont., in Renfrew County
next of kin: Mrs. Margaret McGee (mother) - 29 Grace St., Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Walter Robert McGee
date and place of birth: July 31st, 1885 - Ottawa, Ont., Canada
next of kin: Frances McGee (wife) - c/o C.A. McCool, Pembroke, Ont., Can.
* (Walter Robert McGee is the son of Thomas D'Arcy McGee's half brother, John J. McGee).
William Edward McGee
date and place of birth: June 5th, 1883 - County Renfrew ?, Ont., Canada
next of kin: Norah McGee (mother) - County Renfrew ?, Ont., Canada
March 8, 2006:
I came across your webpage and have been interestedly reading through the
information about Thomas D'Arcy McGee. I am a volunteer researcher at the McCord
Museum in Montreal, dealing with the Notman Photographic Archives. William Notman
was a Scottish-born photographer who settled in Montreal in the late 1850's and
began a very illustrious photographic career.
The photograph John Adshead sent in is in fact a Notman photograph (if you look
very closely in the right-hand corner, you will see the early Notman signature.
It was not taken in 1867; it was actually taken in 1863,and the Notman number
is I-7383. The McCord museum has the original glass negative of this photograph,
although it is slightly damaged on some corners. You can take a look at it and other
photographs (not necessarily by Notman) of Thomas D'Arcy McGee and his wife and
even his signature, by going to the McCord website: www.mccord-museum.qc.ca
Type in 'mcgee' and you'll find quite a lot of interesting information. As to the
name of the photographer penciled in on the back of the photograph, I'm not sure
but he employed many photographers both in the Montreal and other studios,
including one in Ottawa. This photo was taken in Montreal.
... Susan Nish
October 6, 2006:
Thanks to Sue for the following material:
Looking through various Canadian and American censuses, I found the following
(re Mary E. Mcgee and Francis Quinn, Attorney:
1881 Montreal census
Francis, 39, born Quebec
Mary, 30, born USA
Thomas T., b. abt 1875 Quebec (transcription mistake, he is listed as Thomas D.
in the 1910 San Francisco census with wife Marcella).
Edward, b. abt 1877 Quebec
Mary, b. abt 1878 Quebec
Agnus (sic) McGee, age 23, born USA (Agnes is also in the 1901 Montreal census,
single, and living or working with a family.)
1900 Santa Clara, California census
Francis Quinn, born Feb 1842 in Canada of an Irish-born father and a Canadian-born
mother. Attorney. Emigrated to the USA from Canada in 1891, married 28 years.
Mary E. Quinn, wife, born Sep 1850 in Massachusetts of Irish-born parents. She
has had 10 children, 6 of whom still survive. Children living with them are:
Edward A., born Jul 1874 in Canada
Hubert James, born Aug 1882 in Canada (he eventually marries and names one of his
Louis, born Jul 1885 in Canada
Clarence C., born Mar 1888 in Canada
Kathleen, born Mar 1890 in Canada
1910 Santa Clara census
Francis A. Quinn, 65, married 35 years, born now in Eng. Canada, of an Irish-born
father and a French Canada mother
Mary, wife, 59, has had 13 children of whom 8 now survive.
Clarence C., 22
Eugene (twin) 15, born California
Gerald (twin) 15, born California
**Note, neither Eugene nor Gerald can be found anywhere in either the 1900 US
census or the 1901 Canadian census.
1920 Oakland, California census
Mary E. Quinn, widow, 68
Kathleen C., daughter, 28
Eugene F. Quinn, 25
Gerald B. Quinn, 25
Mary does not appear to be in the on-line 1930 California censuses. Francis A.
Quinn obviously has died sometime between 1910 and 1920.
California death records on-line:
Clarence Quinn, born 1 Jan 1886 in Canada and died 31 May 1947 in San Francisco:
mother's maiden name McGee.
Gerald B. Quinn, born 4 Sep 1894 in California, died 3 Dec 1959 in Los Angeles:
mother's maiden name McGee
Eugene F. Quinn, born 4 Sep 1894 in California, died 8 Jul 1964 Sonoma.
No mention of mother's maiden name.
If only 2 children, daughters, survived the death of Thomas d'Arcy McGee,
one of whom was purportedly Peggy and the other Mary Euphrasia, then who was
Agnes McGee who, by the place of her birth (USA) and the date of her birth
(15 Oct 1857 according to the 1901 Montreal census), certainly appears to be a
sister of Mary E. McGee Quinn?
also finally found Francis A. and Mary E. McGee Quinn's son Thomas' death registration.
T. Darcy Quinn, born 9 Feb 1875 in Canada and died 4 Jun 1952 in San Francisco: mother's maiden name Magee.
January 2, 2007:
Hello again Mr Lewis,
I've made some edits below, and added a space for additional references to
a writer and a historian in Inishowen that have been immensely terrific in
providing background on TDM's escape from Ireland in 1848. They are in copy
of this email. I've also attached a photo of the 1848 "escape place".
Please add me to your list and include below in your website. Thank you
very much and I hope this starts additional enthusiasm for a human being
who in a short lifetime, had many lives, Thomas D'Arcy McGee.
Happy New Year.
Hello. I just found your webpage. You are looking for my family, the Quinns.
My son Rodolphe D'Arcy Quinn is a Great Great Great Grandson of Thomas D'Arcy McGee.
He also has a sister [Emma Marguerite] and cousin [Thomas D'Arcy] sharing the
same heritage and below I hope, is an accurate summary on the Quinn â€“ McGee link.
McGee's oldest daughter Mary Euphrasia [Fasa] married Francis Quinn in Canada.
Their oldest child [my grandfather], was called Thomas D'Arcy McGee Quinn.
He was a surgeon in San Francisco. The Quinn family, or at least Dr. Quinn,
moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr Quinn helped out during the 1906 SF earthquake
and married Gertrude Corcoran, a native of San Francisco. Their oldest child was
Ralph Allen Quinn, my father. I'm RAQ's oldest child, making me a Great Great
Grandson of TDM. I grew up in California, but have lived in Europe the past
20 years, frequenting the haunts of TDM, from the Irish College in Paris where
my children were baptized, to his roots in Ireland.
Last summer my family visited Inishowen, the northerly most point of Ireland,
where from a small inlet near the town of Culdaff, TDM escaped Ireland on 1
September 1848 by row boat to the ship "Shamrock", waiting off shore for TDM's
secret boarding, that once he was on deck, sailed for Philadelphia. The
attempted "revolution" by the Young Ireland Movement, of which TDM was a
member, had begun to collapse, and it was time to leave Ireland fast.
I've attached a picture of the hidden inlet "escape place" near Culdaff [Inishowen]
that will send shivers down the spine of any visitor [of which there are few]
feeling what it must have been like for a 23 year old running from the
police with a price on his head, setting out on the unknown Atlantic,
eventually destined to be one of the Fathers of the Canadian Confederation.
Inishowen is a beautiful region of Ireland and we owe many thanks to the
writer Hazel McIntyre and the historian Sean Beattie, who led us down the
steep path to this hidden inlet and also introduced us to the descendants of
Roger McCann, the boatman who helped TDM escape. The actual memorial to
TDM's escape is on Tremone Bay [pictured in the news article attached], but
the "escape place" is nearby and not easy to find, so you'll need the help
of a local that knows the shoreline, just like TDM.
In mid-Feb '07 Hazel, Sean, and their families, will be visiting the Quinns
to discuss the flight of the earls, wild geese, TDM, and to eat and drink.
All the best.
... D'Arcy Francis Quinn
Inishowen - The Northernmost Part of County Donegal
May 14, 2008:
The latest on David Wilson's biography of TDM and a book launch in Inishowen:
Please put the background information attached, on your webpage! We'll be celebrating
at the 'escape place' inlet, photo above, on June 27. Hope to see you there.
All the best.
Press Release May 5, 2008
Contact: Hazel McIntyre, Irish author
Telephone: +353 (0)74 937 9261
Subject: Inishowen book launch (and wake)
Date: Friday June 27, 2008
Location: McGrory's Pub and Hotel
Culdaff, Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal, Ireland
Telephone: +353 (0)74 937 9104
Music: Roisin Harrigan at McGrory's
An evening of music, craic, and poetry to celebrate the life of Thomas D'Arcy McGee and the
new biography written by Professor David Wilson, capturing D'Arcy's early rebel years in
At 7 pm the event will commence at McGrory's with esteemed participants including historian
Sean Beattie, Irish author Hazel McIntyre, the Robert McCann descendants, the Thomas D'Arcy
McGee descendants, His Excellency the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Patrick Binns, His
Excellency the Irish Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. James Sharkey, McGee biographer David
Wilson, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. John Hume.
At 9 pm for two hours, weather permitting, there will be a ceremony and celebration at the
famous 'escape place' near Tremone Bay, 5 minutes drive from McGrory's. Festivities will
resume at McGrory's thereafter.
With guns to his back and a failed Young Ireland rebellion, in the early morning of
September 1, 1848, D'Arcy hurried down a coast path near Culdaff to a small inlet where he
was rowed out by Robert McCann to an awaiting ship and escaped across the Atlantic. This
23 year old would become a Father of the Canadian Confederation, Member of Parliament,
champion of Irish immigrants, poet, journalist, orator and Irish historian. After an
early morning session of the Canadian Parliament, D'Arcy was assassinated. He was 42.
This wake is long overdue !!
Am I remembered in Erin?
I charge you, speak me true!
Has my name a sound â€“ a meaning,
In the scenes my boyhood knew? *
* Poem by Thomas D'Arcy McGee read by Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney at the
funeral of US President Ronald Reagan
May 22, 2008:
Source: Sarah B. Craig, Hello Nepean, page 115.
March 1, 2009:
Subject: Local Historian on "Ideas"
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 12:29:42 -0500
Local historian, Dr. David Shanahan, currently President of the North Grenville Historical
Society, will be a featured guest on the CBC Radio program, "Ideas", on Tuesday, March 3 at
9.05 p. m. "Shadows On Sparks Street", deals with the story of D'Arcy McGee and Patrick
James Whelan. McGee, Father of Confederation was the only federal politician to be
assassinated in Canada. Whelan was arrested, tried, convicted and executed for the murder,
but it has never been conclusively shown that he was guilty. The program also features Dr.
David Wilson, another Irish-Canadian historian, from the University of Toronto; renowned
criminal lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, and Sean Whelan, descendant of the executed man. For
those who cannot tune in on March 3, the program is available on-line at:
North Grenville Community Newsletter
P.O. Box 35
Oxford Mills, ON K0G 1S0
March 26, 2010:
Some background material regarding Thomas Darcy Mc'Gee's early days (starting in 1842),
in Ireland, Montreal and Boston, Massachussetts, USA.
Source: An Irish Heart by Sharon Doyle Driedger, page 187-188
July 14, 2011:
Walter Robert McGee
date and place of birth: July 31st, 1885 - Ottawa, Ont., Canada
next of kin: Frances McGee (wife) - c/o C.A. McCool, Pembroke, Ont., Can.
* (Walter Robert McGee is the son of Thomas D'Arcy McGee's half brother, John J. McGee).
I was sent this picture postcard and thought you all would be interested in it.
Grandson McGee, Frank Charles
(M.P.) 1926.03.03 1999.04.04
Grandson McGee, Frank Charles D.O.B. 1926.03.03 D.O.D. 1999.04.04
My Grandfather John Patrick McCool was born in Pembroke Ontario, (Renfrew County). I want to confirm there is a
connection with the McGee family. Do any of you have information to the McCool and McGee family ties?
August 22, 2010:
Anne McGee, TD's younger sister, married Christopher Joseph McHugh and they migrated as a young couple to Australia with
her sister Dorcas who was a milliner. They had a drapery business in Melbourne but later went to Castlemaine, Victoria
during the gold rush days . Anne had 5 children but was very sickly and died young. Dorcas brought up the children and
ran the dressmaking business in Castlemaine. There were there when Thomas D'Arcy McGee was shot in Canada and a collection
was made for the sisters. Dorcas had previously lived with Thomas and an aunt in America and knew the Irish rebels well.
From her we have I think the only copy of the newspaper with photos of the funeral left. It is mouldy and cannot be unsealed
as the mould causes cancer. A petticoat made by either Annie or Dorcas but probably Dorcas is at the Emigration Museum in Omagh
N.Ireland on loan from us. A framed, large stitched piece or sampler, of poetry, called "The Irish Chieftains" is at the
home of historian Jenny Meegan in Belfast . A shonky dealer stole it from my sister-in-law who has Alzheimer's. It was resold.
Dorcas stitched it, we think while on board the ship on the way to Australia. Christopher McHugh was an alcoholic and left
the family destitute. He died in a benevolent asylum and is buried in Melbourne Cemetery. Anna Maria McHugh's daughter,
Catherine Mary Angela McHugh married Thomas Valentine Slattery, my husband's grandfather in 1883. She is buried in Burwood
Cemetery Melbourne Australia with two unmarried daughters, Irene Veronica and Agnes Alma Slattery and the oldest child s,
Francis Xavier Slattery, my father-in-law, born in 1884 with his wife and a daughter who died young. Catherine Mary Angela
McHugh-Slattery's second son, Leo D'Arcy Slattery, was killed in WW1 in 1916, and is buried at Puchevillers, France.
He too was a brilliant orator, linguist and writer like his great uncle. I have read his war letters to his sisters in
French, Latin, English and Greek. Aunt Agnes always wrote back in a different language â€“ it was their game, maybe to get
past the censors. All these people, except Leo, lived to 80 years of age and almost all died in August ( winter here).
There was another child Harald , the youngest sibling, who died at either 5 months or 5 years of age- not sure. My husband
76 this month on 6th August.
I hope this is useful for you. I can get dates but Jenny Meegan or the author of many books about D'Arcy McGee, Prof. David Wilson
at University Toronto, both of whom we know, has a better grasp of it as they have done a close study of it. We have provided
them with all we had.
Dip Teach,B.Ed, B.Theol, COGE, AFACEL, MHIQS
February 15, 2014:
Thanks to Taylor Kennedy for this notice from the Ottawa Journal.
February 25, 2014:
Thanks again to Taylor for this fascinating account of the trial of Patrick James Whalen as it appeared in
the St. Catharines Constitutional on February 11, 1869.
November 18, 2016:
A poem by Thomas Darcy McGee at the time of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 ("Black '47")
Where are the swift ships flying
Far to the west away?
Why are the women crying
Far to the west away?
Is our dear land infected
That thus o'er her bays neglected
The skiff steals along dejected
While the ships fly far way?
... Thomas Darcy McGee
Dr. David Shanahan, James Amsler, Taylor Kennedy, Charles Clarke, John Adshead, Kevin Collins, Sandra, Mary Kaiser, Mary Quinn, Clare Whitney, Sue, Susan Nish, D'Arcy Francis Quinn, Theresa McCool, Pat Slattery and Al Lewis
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