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Edward Whelan, Prince Edward Island's fighting Irishman, was the angriest young man among the Fathers of Confederation.

During his short but turbulent life, he brought his adopted province close to rebellion and he was several times sued for libel, twice by W.H. Pope, one of his fellow Fathers of Confederation. At an early age he arrived in Halifax from County Mayo, Ireland, where he had been born in 1824, and soon was apprenticed as a printer to Joseph Howe. While still a boy he became co-publisher of the Roman Catholic paper, the Register. Then, at the age of 19, on Howe's recommendation, he sailed for Prince Edward Island.

Whelan arrived in Charlottetown on Aug, 31, 1843 and started his own newspaper, the palladium. He agitated venomously against the family compact which ruled the island but though he had popular support, he failed financially. Within a year, to nearly everyone's surprise, he became editor of the Morning News, previously his hated rival. A few months later, aged 22, he was elected to the island assembly. A month later he resigned from the News to start a new paper, the Examiner. Before the plant could be brought from Boston, winter set in and Whelan started another temporary paper, the Reporter. However, on Aug. 9, 1847, the Examiner finally hit the street. Whelan played a leading part in the government of George Coles in 1851, as responsible government finally reached the island. Later he became Queen's Printer ands the Royal Gazette he published in a strangely venomous politically-slanted sheet compared with the present dull, neutral gazettes. A staunch advocate of Confederation, he was bitterly upset when electors, who had given him tremendous majorities for 20 years turned him out of office in 1867 on the union question. He died a broken-hearted man at Charlottetown on Dec. 10, 1867.