As one of the Fathers of Confederation of Canada, Thomas D’Arcy McGee fought for many of the issues that would later become important to the growth of the new nation of Canada. D’Arcy McGee advocated an increase in immigration and the construction of a national railroad to help form a strong Canada. McGee also addressed the importance of national literature to increase the national identity of Canada and that can still be seen in today’s legislation. The only Federal politician to be assassinated in Canadian history, D’Arcy McGee is the subject of a two volume biography by author David Wilson. Recently released, [amazon_link id=”0773539034″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Thomas D’arcy Mcgee: The Extreme Moderate, 1857-1868[/amazon_link] is the follow up to Wilson’s 2008 book [amazon_link id=”0773533575″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Thomas D’Arcy McGee: Passion, Reason, and Politics, 1825-1857[/amazon_link]. Randy Boswell for the Montreal Gazette reports that the assassination of McGee may not be as cut and dry as the old history books revealed.
A new suspect has emerged in one of the most notorious crimes in Canadian history: the 1868 assassination of Irishborn Father of Confederation Thomas D’Arcy McGee.[amazon_enhanced asin=”0773539034″ container=”div” container_class=”alignright” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]
A just-published biography of the famed 19th-century MP from Montreal sheds fresh light on McGee’s murder 143 years ago in Ottawa, floating the theory that Patrick James Whelan – the man hanged for the crime – was part of a “hit squad” of Fenian radicals who targeted McGee, and may not actually have pulled the trigger.
Lingering doubts about Whelan’s guilt have made the McGee killing – Canada’s only political assassination – one of the country’s most enduring whodunits. And while McGee biographer David Wilson concludes Whelan was certainly involved in the assassination, he argues that armchair coldcase sleuths should take a second look at Whelan’s friend and fellow Fenian James Kinsella, a “bit player” in the original investigation and trial but quite possibly the man who held the smoking gun over Mc-Gee’s dead body.