Patrick James Whelan is believed to have been the perpetrator of the first political assasination in Canada. On April 7th, 1868, Hon. Thomas D'Arcy McGee, a father of the Canadian Confederation, was killed by revolver wound to the head, and Patrick Whelan, a known supporter of the fenians was apprehended and convicted of the crime. Public hanging had been legislated to end in 1870, and Whalen's hanging is often thought to be the last to occur (although this is incorrect. The last public hanging in Canada was that of Nicholas Mellady and occured some 10 months later at the Huron County Gaol).

Patrick Whelan was hung from the neck until dead on February 11th, 1869, at the Carleton County Jail.

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