In 1828, he began publishing the Irish Vindicator and Canada General Advertiser, known simply as the Irish Vindicator. Based in Montreal the newspaper aimed at the immigrant Irish community soon took a dissenting view of the non-elected but powerful, autocratic Family Compact, known in Lower Canada as the Château Clique and advocated the enrichment of the democratic rights for the majority of its citizens, most of whom were Catholics. The paper also promoted what Daniel O’Connell Louis-Joseph Papineau.
Tracey was one of several journalists imprisoned early in 1832 for criticizing the non-elected legislative council that represented the interests of the Château Clique. Tracey, editor of the Vindicator and Ludger Duvernay, the editor of the French language La Minerve newspaper were arrested for libel and imprisoned together for over a month for writing articles that said that “it is certain that before long all of America must be republican.” They were released after much public support and condemnation of the arrests.
In the spring of 1832, he was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada. At the vote counting station supporters of the opponent candidate, Stanley Bagg (supported by the Clique) triggered a violent confrontation. As a result, three of Tracey's supporters were killed and many more were wounded. Thomas D'Arcy McGee, one of the Canadian fathers of confederation, would hold the same Legislative seat in 1857.
Despite his rising political stature he died suddenly in July, 1832 becoming a victim of the widespread cholera outbreak that summer in Montreal. After his death, Edmund Bailey O'Callaghan took over as editor of the Vindicator.
- "Biography". Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec de 1792 à nos jours (in French). National Assembly of Quebec.
- "Daniel Tracey". Dictionary of Canadian Biography (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. 1979–2005.
- Pentland, HC (1984) Labour and Capital in Canada, 1650-1860, James Lorimer, Toronto P104.
- Abidor, Mitch - The Patriotes Rebellion