Born on 13 April 1825 in Carlingford, Ireland, Thomas D’Arcy Etienne Hughes McGee was an Irish-Canadian politician, Catholic spokesman, poet, journalist, and one of the further well-known founding fathers of Canadian Confederation. McGee’s background was by no means privileged, living in a small coastal village in eastern Ireland. At the age of 17, he had decided to emigrate from Ireland to the United States, eventually residing in the city of Boston. Naturally, his loyalty had first and foremost, lied towards the expanding Irish community in the United States. The large influx of immigrants of Irish descent to the United States had consequently reinforced an anti-immigrant movement, led by a group coined as the ‘Know Nothings.’ However, after a series of visits to Canada, McGee’s perspective had begun to shift. He had come to the conclusion that minorities had enjoyed far more freedom and toleration there, whereas in the United States. In response to the anti-immigrant movement, he began to encourage the establishment of an Irish colony on the western perimeter of Canada, or the US.  Unfortunately, he had failed to garner enough funds to claim township. As his projects failed to gain sufficient support, he moved to Montréal in 1857, at the invitation of the local Irish community that was situated there. He continued to urge new immigrants of Irish descent to select Canada over the United States. In December of 1857, he was elected to participate in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. McGee sat alongside with George Brown in the Reform government, which campaigned for republicanism, and later for responsible government. Ultimately, he left the reformers, in favour of the Conservatives. When the Conservatives had acquired power in the year of 1863, McGee had become ministers of agriculture, immigration, and statistics. Thomas D’Arcy McGee was an early visionary of Confederation. He had suggested the idea of the upbringing of a new nationality, achieved by a unification of British North America; essentially the concept of Confederation. He sought for the construction of a railroad, and for the establishment of a province designated for First Nations peoples.


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