Hvem var Molly Maguires?

Hvem var Molly Maguires?

I sidste halvdel af 1800 -tallet var Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, et område fyldt med vold. Mellem 1861 og 1875 blev en række voldelige overgreb, brandstiftelser og mord skyldt på et hemmeligt selskab af irske immigranter kendt som Molly Maguires. Gruppen var oprindeligt opstået i Nord-Central-Irland i 1840'erne som en udløber for en lang række landlige hemmelige selskaber, herunder Whiteboys og Ribbonmen, der reagerede på elendige arbejdsforhold og fraflytninger fra lejerudlejere med blodig hævn.

Over for udsigten til sult under den store kartoffelsult, emigrerede mere end en million irere til Amerika, hvor en stor koncentration bosatte sig i den antracitkulregion i Pennsylvania på jagt efter arbejde. Irske katolikker blev rutinemæssigt mødt med forskelsbehandling på grund af både deres religion og arv og stødte ofte på hjælpesøgte tegn med ansvarsfraskrivelser, der lyder: "Irsk behøver ikke at gælde." Mændene og deres familier accepterede de mest fysisk krævende og farlige minearbejde og blev tvunget til at bo i overfyldte boligejede, købe varer fra virksomhedsejede butikker og besøge virksomhedsejede læger. I mange tilfælde afvikles arbejdere på grund af deres arbejdsgivere i slutningen af ​​hver måned.

Da borgerkrigen brød ud, og minearbejdere blev udarbejdet til at slutte sig til det, de opfattede som "en rigmands krig", begyndte de at gøre oprør. "Kisteopslag", der truede med døden, angiveligt skrevet af Molly Maguires, blev leveret til minedriftsovervågere og skorper, der planlagde at udfylde deres roller under strejker, og da arbejdsforholdene blev forværret i 1870'erne, eskalerede volden. I alt blev 24 mineformænd og tilsynsmænd myrdet.

I 1873 hyrede Franklin B. Gowen, præsident for Reading Railroad, Pinkerton Detective Agency for at infiltrere og ødelægge Molly Maguires, hvis fagforening blev en hindring for at øge jernbanens overskud. Ved hjælp af aliaset James McKenna tilbragte den indfødte irer James McParlan to og et halvt år sammen med kulminearbejderne og fik til sidst deres tillid.

På trods af interessekonflikten fungerede Gowen som chefanklager under de efterfølgende retssager. Baseret på næsten udelukkende på McParlans vidnesbyrd blev 20 mænd dømt til døden - 10 af dem blev henrettet den 21. juni 1877, også kendt som Black Thursday. Selvom Molly Maguires eksistens som et organiseret band af fredløse i Amerika stadig diskuteres, er de fleste historikere nu enige om, at retssager og henrettelser var en skandaløs perversion af det strafferetlige system. I 1979, mere end 100 år efter hans ophængning, fik John Kehoe - den formodede "konge" i Molly Maguires - fuldstændig benådning af staten Pennsylvania.


The Molly Maguires: The Secret Society's History Forklaret

Kulregionen var blevet et farligt sted i 1870'erne. En skyggefuld gruppe irske immigranter i det nordøstlige Pennsylvania, der arbejdede i mineerne, myrdede 24 formænd og tilsynsførende, og de sendte "kistebeskeder" til mange andre, herunder skorper under minestrejke. De sprængte arbejdspladsmaskineri og krævede hævn mod rivaliserende bander, politikere og politi, og de kunne altid henvende sig til deres kammerater for at få alibier for at undgå fængsel. I bedre del af tre årtier trodsede gruppen, der blev kendt som Molly Maguires loven i regionen, indtil en detektiv infiltrerede organisationen og bragte dem ned indefra.

Mollierne, som de undertiden blev kendt, havde deres rødder i det nordlige centrale Irland i 1840'erne, hvor en lang række landlige hemmelige samfund reagerede med magt på uudholdelige arbejdsforhold og grusomme udsættelser fra lejerudlejere. Gruppens navn kom fra medlemmerne, der ville klæde sig ud som kvinder for at skjule sig, mens de udførte deres operationer. De lovede deres troskab til en mytisk skikkelse - elskerinde Molly Maguire - der symboliserede deres kamp mod uretfærdighed, ifølge historikeren Kevin Kenny, der skrev på Oxford University Press.


Hvem var Molly Maguires?

Molly Maguires var et hemmeligt selskab af irske minearbejdere. De lånte deres navn fra et hemmeligt selskab tilbage i Irland, hvor medlemmer klædt i dametøj for at skjule sig.

Ifølge en legende ledede en enke ved navn Molly Maguire de irske demonstranter i en gruppe kaldet “Anti-landlord Agitators. ” Banden vedtog hendes navn som deres telefonkort, da de kæmpede mod engelske grundejere.

Ligesom de irske Molly Maguires kæmpede det amerikanske samfund mod uretfærdighed - herunder deres behandling i miner.

Den store hungersnød drev over en million irske immigranter til Amerika. I det 19. århundrede diskriminerede mange virksomheder irerne, selv hængte skilte med, at irsk ikke behøver at gælde. ”

I Pennsylvania's kulland tog mange irske immigranter job i minerne.

Molly Maguires optrådte første gang under borgerkrigen. Vrede over at blive trukket i krig og frustreret over forfærdelige arbejdsforhold, slog irske immigranter ud mod minemyndigheder.

Ukendt/Wikimedia Commons A “ kistebesked, ” eller dødstrussel, præsenteret ved retssagen mod Molly Maguires.

Det hemmelige selskab stilnede til sidst i 1860'erne, da minearbejderne sluttede sig til en arbejdsforening. Workingmen ’s Benevolent Association (WBA) forhandlede med succes højere lønninger - indtil Franklin B. Gowen, en jernbanemand, fik monopol på kulminedriften i Pennsylvania.

Under Gowens hårde styre dukkede Molly Maguires op igen - og det samme gjorde deres voldelige metoder.


The Molly Maguires: Secret and Murderous

Molly Maguires var en hemmelig organisation af kulminearbejdere i de antracitregioner i det østlige Pennsylvania og West Virginia. Også kendt som "Buckshots, " "Sleepers, " og "White Boys, " blev navnet "Molly Maguires " taget fra en berømt enke, der havde stået i spidsen for en lejerprotest i Irland i 1840'erne. I 1860'erne var der megen uro blandt kulminearbejdere. Arbejdsforholdene var dårlige, og ansættelsesdiskrimination var almindelig. Arbejderne havde lidt hjælp, da mineoperatørerne kontrollerede arbejdspladsen, boliger, butikker og ofte politi og domstole. Manglende evne til at forbedre deres forhold førte til sidst arbejderne til vold, der oftest var rettet mod mineejere og tilsynsførende. Molly Maguires aktiviteter blev ofte afskærmet af Ancient Hibernians Order, en irsk-amerikansk brodergruppe. Tavshedspligt blev strengt håndhævet. Da reformkrav ikke blev opfyldt, blev mineudstyr ødelagt, embedsmænd skræmt og undertiden dræbt. Slutningen på Mollies kom i midten af ​​1870'erne, da Franklin B. Gowen, formand for Philadelphia Coal and Iron Company, besluttede, at Mollies skulle sættes ned. Han hyrede en Pinkerton -detektiv, James McParlan som infiltrator. McParlan sluttede sig til organisationen og rejste sig til at blive sekretær for sin division. Da efter et særligt grusomt mord i 1875 førte til den første kapitaldomme for en Molly, begyndte mistanken at bygge, at karakteren af ​​det vidnesbyrd, der blev indført ved retssagen, pegede på sandsynligheden for en forræder i deres midte. McParlan begyndte mistænkeligt at ligne den bedste kandidat. På trods af et plan om at myrde ham, kunne McParlan holde et stykke tid længere og derefter smutte væk. I senere drabssager resulterede hans vidnesbyrd i overbevisning og hængning af 10 påståede medlemmer af Molly Maguires. Disse hårde domme og offentlig frygt for radikalisme førte til gruppens hurtige død. Hemmeligheden for Molly Maguires blev så strengt håndhævet, at deres aktiviteter stadig er indhyllet i mystik.


Molly Maguires

I den senere del af 1800 -tallet blev den antracitkulregion i Pennsylvania fejet af hysteri over et hemmeligt irsk immigrantersamfund, The Molly Maguires, der blev anklaget for at have begået mord og industriel sabotage. Vilified ved dagens etablering, med tiden ville de blive set som arbejderbevægelsens helte og idoliseret som modkulturelle helte i en film. Hvem var dog "The Molly Maguires" og er en af ​​versionerne korrekt?

Selv oprindelsen af ​​udtrykket "Molly Maguire" er genstand for debat. Legenden fortæller, at det opstod fra navnet på en gammel kvinde, der blev tvangsudsat fra hendes ejendom, et træk, der derefter blev voldeligt modstået af naboer på hendes vegne. Andre traditioner peger på en taktik med at ligge i baghold ved en hjerteløs huslejesamler eller udlejer ved at få en af ​​deltagerne til at klæde sig som en kvinde og fungere som et lokkemiddel for at bremse de påtænkte målvogn, så den kunne blive angrebet. Der er imidlertid få tegn på, at der eksisterede et organiseret hemmeligt samfund i Irland kaldet "The Molly Maguires", snarere var det et begreb, der blev brugt til at beskrive "landlig retfærdighed" og repressalier mod uret begået af den herskende klasse.

I årene efter borgerkrigen blev Amerikas industrielle boom og ekspansion drevet af kul, og minerne i Pennsylvania tiltrak tusinder af irske immigranter. Ansættelsesvilkårene var beklagelige og udnyttende: ud over at bryde arbejdskraft var minearbejderne forpligtet til at betale husleje for boliger, der var ejet af minen, måtte handle i butikker, der ejes af minen og ville have fradrag i deres løn for brugen af de værktøjer, de brugte til at udvinde kul. Det var ikke usædvanligt efter en uges hårde arbejde for en minearbejder at finde sig i at skylde penge til minen frem for at modtage løn. Minearbejderne levede, som en mineejer udtrykte det, i en tilstand af "halv-slaveri."

Fagforeninger forsøgte at etablere sig for at beskytte minearbejderne, men de blev brutalt undertrykt af mænd som Franklin B. Gowen. Gowen var en tidligere anklager i Pennsylvania, der hensynsløst havde steget til magten i Philadelphia og Reading Railroad og Philadelphia Coal and Iron Company. Gowen var ikke tilfreds med blot at knuse fagforeningerne, han ønskede at udrydde enhver fremtidig trussel om organiseret modstand og ledelse blandt det irske katolske minesamfund. For at retfærdiggøre et nedbrud på potentielle arrangører begyndte Gowen sammen med avisudgiver Benjamin Bannon at formidle oplysninger om en hemmelig organisation, der var engageret i en kampagne for vold, "The Molly Maguires". For at tilføre denne konspirationsteori troværdighed tog Gowen skridt til at forbinde den påståede "Molly Maguires" med en kendt "hemmelig organisation" af irske amerikanere, der ved at organisere og tale for rettighederne irske immigranter allerede havde forårsaget mineejerne problemer: Ancient Hibernians -orden.

Gowen sørgede for, at en Pinkerton -detektiv, James McParland, infiltrerede AOH. McParland var en irsk immigrant, der havde en ternet fortid, selv anklager om at have begået et mord i Buffalo. Alan Pinkerton udtalte, at McParland ikke var den slags mennesker, der var bekymret, hvis han troede, at Gowens angreb på AOH var "simpelthen forfølgelse for menings skyld." McParland var i stand til at infiltrere minearbejderne og AOH, men efter to år var han ude af stand til at give en forbindelse mellem volden fra kulfelterne og AOH, eller eksistensen af ​​en gruppe kaldet "Molly Maguires." Dette var ikke noget problem, da Gowen gennem sin indflydelse kunne arrangere, at enhver voldelig handling, der fandt sted, var et eksempel på "Molly -vold". Kulfelterne havde altid været en grobund for fejder og vagtsom retfærdighed, og ikke kun af irske amerikanere havde en gruppe hollandske immigranter, Mudochs, ført en sort krig mod irsk amerikaner i årevis. Det er sandsynligvis mere end tilfældigt, at nogle af de mindre mineejere, der var ofre for "The Mollies", også var konkurrenter til Gowen. Gowens agent McParland, der ikke havde fundet noget direkte bevis på Mollies, var ikke modvillig til at forsøge at provokere medlemmer af AOH til vold, hvor de kunne blive fanget. Pinkerton selv indrømmede åbent, at medlemmer af AOH blev “ stille myrdet. ”

Begivenheder kulminerede i at bringe 50 minearbejdere til retssag. At Gowen ikke overlod noget til tilfældighederne med resultatet af forsøgene kan ses i tilfælde af "Black Jack Kehoe". Kehoe, en pensioneret minearbejder og leder af AOH havde været en kendt talsmand for minearbejderrettigheder. Gowen sørgede for, at han kunne tjene som anklager i Kehoes sag (en klar interessekonflikt) og importerede en sympatisk dommer for at høre sagen. Irske katolikker blev afskåret fra at tjene i juryen. En nævningemand, en hollandsk immigrant, indrømmede senere, at han ikke forstod meget af det engelske vidnesbyrd "men var til at hænge ham alligevel". Kehoe blev dømt for et drab, der var sket 14 år før på trods af, at offeret, der havde levet i flere dage efter angrebet og kendte Kehoe, aldrig implicerede ham, og flere vidner for Kehoe placerede ham væk fra angrebsstedet. Imidlertid fremstillede Gowen gennem vidnesbyrd fra McParland og andre, der nu stort set betragtes som mened, Kehoe med succes som "The Mollies King." Kehoe og atten andre mænd ville til sidst blive hængt.

Med hensyn til troværdigheden af ​​Gowen og McParlands påstande vedrørende eksistensen af ​​"Molly Maguires" kan man drage konklusioner fra deres senere liv. McParland ville senere mislykkes i et forsøg på at indramme flere arbejdsledere for mordet på den tidligere guvernør i Idaho. Endnu en gang ville McParland igen forsøge at påberåbe sig billedet af en "hemmelig sammensværgelse", men det lykkedes ikke at overbevise nogen om dens eksistens. Gowen ville senere blive tvunget til at fratræde sin stilling som præsident for Philadelphia and Reading Railroad og Philadelphia Coal and Iron Company, men ikke uden at gøre magtfulde fjender af mænd måske endnu mere hensynsløse end ham selv: J.P. Morgan og John D. Rockefeller. Gowen blev fundet død i en sag om et "mistænkeligt selvmord".

Det er lidt trist at bemærke, at de mænd, der blev hængt for at være "Molly Maguires", stadig er ofre for Gowens og McParlands indsats i dag, men ironisk nok af mennesker, der forsøger at idolisere dem. Disse beundrere af "Mollies" accepterer stadig faktisk deres forfolgers tvivlsomme anklager, men skildrer nu for deres egen skyld disse begivenheder som gerninger af retfærdige "Robin Hoods". Det håbes, at en dag vil den mindre romantiske, men måske mere skræmmende sandhed vinde, at disse mænd sandsynligvis var de uskyldige ofre for en af ​​historiens store heksejagter og deres hovedforbrydelse ikke var andet end for "forbrydelsen" at være Irsk, katolsk og dvale.


Molly Maguires i det nittende århundredes Amerika

21. juni 1877 blev kendt i PA's historie som rebets “dag ”. Det var den dag, hvor ti irere blev hængt efter at være blevet dømt for at have myrdet en kulmineforvalter.

I begyndelsen af ​​1800 -tallet blev antracitkul opdaget i Pocono -bjergene i det nordøstlige Pennsylvania. Snart ankom folk fra hele verden til den lille by Mauch Chunk for at arbejde i kulminerne.

Irsk ankommer i kulminer og mærket som Molly Maguires

Under borgerkrigen ankom irske immigranter for at arbejde i Pennsylvania kulminer. Fra det øjeblik de ankom, blev de betragtet som udstødte. I kulminerne arbejdede de med andre europæere fra lande som Wales, England og Tyskland.

På grund af historien mellem Irland og Storbritannien blev irerne betragtet som problematiske beslutningstagere og fik snart navnet American Molly Maguires. Udtrykket Molly Maguire stammer fra Irland og er opkaldt efter en gruppe irere, der gik imod de engelske udlejere for at hjælpe en hjemløs enkekvinde ved navn Molly Maguire. Irerne stjal mad til hende og hendes børn.

Irlændere, der var medlemmer af Ancient Hibernians Order, blev markeret som Molly Maguires. AOH -medlemmer var irske katolikker.

Kulminere protesterer mod borgerkrigen

Problemerne begyndte i det nordøstlige Pennsylvania, da præsident Abraham Lincoln opfordrede til et udkast til 300.000 militsfolk, 17.000 af disse mænd skulle komme fra Pennsylvania. Kvinder og drenge begyndte at protestere mod tegningerne ved at kaste varmt vand, pinde, sten og alt andet efter dem, da de kom for at foretage en folketælling.

Den 16. oktober 1862 blev udkastet til liste vist, og det, der viste sig at være en ikke -voldelig protest, blev hurtigt voldelig. For at afslutte volden spurgte oberst Alexander McClure, ven til præsident Lincoln, om de værnepligtige kunne få at vide, at kvoten er fyldt til Pennsylvania, og de ikke behøver at melde sig til tjeneste? Selvom det ikke var sandt, indvilligede Lincoln i at afslutte volden.

Vold i Kulminerne voksede

I 1870'erne var arbejds- og levevilkårene for kulminerne utålelige. Minejerne nægtede at forbedre forholdene. Snart blev alle, der var involveret i driften af ​​kulminerne, slået og/eller myrdet.

Kulminerejere hentede Pinkerton -detektiverne for at undersøge, hvem der var ansvarlig for de voldelige handlinger.

James McParland tog navnet James Mckenna og infiltrerede AOH, alias Molly Maguires. McKenna blev hurtigt et respekteret medlem af gruppen, fordi han var i stand til at læse og skrive.

I løbet af hans embedsperiode med gruppen fandt flere mord sted, herunder et af en politibetjent. Ordenen følte, at Benjamin Yost forrådte dem, da han slog og arresterede et af AOH -medlemmerne, Thomas Duffy.

Mordet på Yost fandt sted den 4. juli 1875. Hugh McGhen, James Boyle og James 'Powder Keg' Kerrigan ventede på en kirkegård tæt på Yosts ankomst. Mens han besteg en stige for at slukke en lanterne, kom de tre mand ud af skyggerne og skød Yost. Han faldt død til jorden.

Flere drab fandt sted, og sammen med dem kom anholdelser. AOH -medlemmerne indså hurtigt, at der skulle være en informant i gruppen. Efter at have konfronteret gruppelederen, Jack Kehoe, forsvandt McKenna.

Molly Maguires anholdt for mord

Anholdt for mordene på Morgan Powell, John P. Jones og Benjamin Doyle var Alexander Campbell, Thomas Duffy, James Roarity, Hugh McGehn, James Carroll og James Boyle.

Selvom Alexander Campbell ikke blev anholdt for faktisk at have dræbt mændene, blev han betragtet som mestersindet bag mordene på Powell og Jones.

Alexander Campbell sættes på prøve

Under hans retssag dukker James McPharland op igen og vidner om, at natten før mordet på Jones mødtes Campbell med Kelly og Doyle i hans salon.

Nævningene kom til beslutningen om, at Campbell var skyldig i at beherske mordene og derfor skulle hænges.

Håndaftryk på cellevæg foreslår uskyld

Inden Alexander Campbell blev taget til galgen for at blive hængt, lagde han sin hånd på væggen i sin fængselscelle og fortalte vagten, at hans håndaftryk vil forblive som bevis på hans uskyld


Flogging Molly - En kort historie om Molly Maguires

Den 21. juni 1877 sad fire irskfødte minearbejdere i en celle i Pennsylvania og ventede på, at deres dødsdom ville blive besvaret af en bøjle. De fire mænd blev anklaget for drab og for at have været medlemmer af den berygtede Molly Maguires.

Deres overbevisning og henrettelse hvilede på vidnesbyrd fra en enkelt Pinkerton -detektiv. Denne mand ville senere blive miskrediteret som en charlatan årtier senere. Men som legenden siger, da vagterne kom ind i cellen på en af ​​de dømte mænd, Alexander Campbell, bøjede han sig og duppede håndfladen med et stof fra gulvet.

Når vi vender os til vagterne, siges det, at han sagde: "Jeg er uskyldig, og lad dette være mit vidnesbyrd." den dag i dag, på trods af alle bestræbelser på at skrubbe det væk.

Historien om Molly Maguires begyndte blandt de antracitiske kulfelter i Pennsylvania. Disse marker frembragte livsnerven i den amerikanske industritid og fødte også tidens røverbaroner. I den modsatte ende af spektret skabte felterne en udnyttet klasse af arbejdere. Disse arbejdere bestod af en immigrant arbejdsstyrke, for nylig ankommet fra Wales, Tyskland, Holland, men mest fra Irland. Disse arbejdere tjente mindre end $ 12 om ugen og blev ofte betalt i scrip: firmaudstedte papirpenge, værdiløse uden for kulmarkerne.

Frank Gowen, mineejer og præsident for Philadelphia & amp Reading Railroad, var ikke tilfreds med minearbejdernes fagforening, Workingmen's Benevolent Association (WBA), og opfordrede Pinkerton Detective Agency til at finde en måde at bryde fagforeningen. Pinkertons havde opbygget et ry for at ødelægge fagforeninger gennem vold og thuggary, uden at begrænse sig til landets love.

Pinkertons sendte agenten James McParland ind under aliaset James McKenna, der i to år boede blandt de irske minearbejdere og byggede en sag mod fagforeningsaktivisterne. McParland hævdede, at en hemmelig organisation, kendt som Molly Maguires, engagerede sig i kriminelle aktiviteter i hele minefeltet. Han beskyldte Molly Maguires for at have deltaget i næsten halvtreds mord. De anklagede, der hovedsageligt består af irske arbejdsledere og aktivister, blev hurtigt anholdt og retsforfulgt for forbrydelserne.

Under Molly -retssagerne havde anklagede stablet dækket mod dem. Anklageren var ingen ringere end Frank Gowan, manden, der havde ansat Pinkertons. Dommeren var en gammel ven af ​​Gowan og blev hentet af jernbaneselskabet for at bestemme over retssagerne. Mellem 1877 og 1879 blev nitten minearbejdere sendt i døden som følge af Molly Maguire -forsøg. Alle døde og erklærede deres uskyld.

Alexander Campbell var en af ​​fire mænd anklaget for mordet på mineselskabets ledere John P. Jones og Morgan Powell. Juryen omfattede ikke-engelsktalende tyske immigranter og walisiske immigranter, der er kendt for ikke at komme sammen med deres irske naboer. Efter deres overbevisning lyttede mændene i dagevis til støjen fra galgen, der blev bygget uden for deres fængselsceller. På henrettelsesdagen bevarede de forbandede mænd deres værdighed, idet Campbell gjorde sit sidste store standpunkt.

I 1906 dukkede James McParland stadig op som Pinkerton -agent og dukkede op igen under en drabssag mod 'Big Bill' Haywood fra Western Federation of Miners. Under retssagen var den berømte Charles Darrow, der forsvarede Haywood, i stand til at bevise, at McParland havde været med til at fremstille det eneste bevis mod arbejdslederen. Haywood blev løsladt, efter at sagen faldt fra hinanden, og McParlands ry blev diskrediteret.

Stadig den dag i dag er Alexander Campbells håndaftryk tilbage og fungerer som en skamplet på amerikansk historie og en påmindelse om den uretfærdighed, der fandt sted i Pennsylvania minefelter for over 130 år siden. I 2006 vedtog begge grene af Pennsylvania -lovgiveren resolutioner, der anerkendte retssagerne mod Alexander Campbell og de andre anklagede Molly Maguires som iboende forfatningsstridige, og opfordrede guvernør Ed Rendell (D) til at gøre det samme, men det gjorde han ikke.


I amerikansk historie

I Pennsylvania handlede Molly Maguires tilsyneladende bag omslaget til en tilsyneladende fredelig irsk broderorganisation kaldet Ancient Hibernians Order (AOH). Sagen blev revnet af en Pinkerton -detektiv, James McParlan, der tilbragte næsten to år i kuldistriktet og arbejdede undercover.

Mere end halvtreds Molly Maguires kom for retten mellem 1875 og 1878 blev tyve henrettet og tyve flere gik i fængsel. De første ti Molly Maguires blev hængt på en enkelt dag, 21. juni 1877, kendt af befolkningen i antracitregionen lige siden som “Sort torsdag. ”


Molly Maguires blev anklaget for at have dræbt så mange som seksten mineejere, superintendenter, chefer og arbejdere. Deres retssager, der blev gennemført midt i en enormt fjendtlig national omtale, var en retfærdighed af retfærdighed. De tiltalte blev anholdt af den private politistyrke ved Philadelphia & amp; Reading Railroad, hvis ambitiøse præsident, Franklin B. Gowen, havde finansieret Pinkerton -operationen.

De blev dømt på grundlag af beviser på en hemmelig detektiv, der blev anklaget (noget halvhjertet) af forsvaret for at være en agentprovokatør, suppleret med tilståelser fra en række informanter, der havde vendt statens beviser for at redde deres nakke.

Irske katolikker blev udelukket fra juryerne som en selvfølge. De fleste anklagemyndigheder arbejdede for jernbaner og mineselskaber. Det var bemærkelsesværdigt, at Franklin B. Gowen selv optrådte som stjerneanklageren ved flere retssager, hvor hans taler i retssalen skyndte ud på tryk som populære pjecer.

Faktisk blev AOH selv sat for retten: blot medlemskab af denne organisation blev præsenteret som de facto -medlemskab af Molly Maguires, og medlemskab af begge blev rutinemæssigt fremlagt af anklagemyndigheden som bevis på skyld og#8212 på anklager ikke blot om at tilhøre en ed-bundet samfund, men at bruge det samfund til at planlægge og udføre djævelske forbrydelser.

Set i bakspejlet viste sagen om Molly Maguires mange af de klassiske kendetegn ved en amerikansk konspirationsteori. Selv efter det nittende århundredes standarder var arrestationer, retssager og henrettelser fremtrædende i deres misbrug af retslige procedurer og deres pral af virksomhedens magt. Alligevel skulle kun en håndfuld afvigende stemmer høres, hovedsageligt fra arbejdsradikale.

For at forklare, hvorfor sådan noget kan ske, er det vigtigt at forstå, hvorfor anklagemyndighedens skildring af de irske tiltalte virkede så overbevisende for samtidige. Anklagemyndigheden tilbød ingen plausibel forklaring på motiv, og det var tilsyneladende heller ikke forventet.

Forklaringen på irsk fordærv var ganske enkelt, at irerne af natur var fordærvede, de dræbte mennesker, fordi det var den type mennesker, de var. Selv om dette argument var perfekt cirkulært, var det en overraskende stærk argument i USA i midten af ​​det nittende århundrede.

Irsk amerikansk vold og fordærv, fra arbejdsomvæltninger og uroligheder i byerne i antebellum -æraen til udkast til optøjer i borgerkrigen og orange og grønne optøjer i 1870 �, blev præsenteret som den logiske transatlantiske udvækst af en fremmed immigrantkultur.

I USA var den kultur desuden udstyret med en international konspiratorisk organisation, Ancient Hibernians Order, hvis tentakler siges at nå på tværs af både det nordamerikanske kontinent og Atlanterhavet.

Irernes iboende vildskab var den vejledende forudsætning for, hvad der gik for den første bølge af fortolkning af Molly Maguires, en strøm af pjecer, avisrapporter og historier produceret af samtidige.

Selv en lidt sympatisk observatør som Dewees (The Molly Maguires: The Origins, Growth, and Character of the Organization, 1877) tog den irske tilbøjelighed til vold mere eller mindre for givet, mens forfatteren af ​​den anden standard nutidshistorie, Allan Pinkerton &# 8212stifter af det berømte detektivbureau — tog irsk fordærv som sit centrale tema (The Molly Maguires and the Detectives, 1877).

Dette meget pejorative og stærkt konspiratoriske perspektiv, som udgjorde den grundlæggende myte om Molly Maguires, forblev dominerende i de næste to generationer og genopstod f.eks. I Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ’s roman The Fear of Valley (1904) og gav et hæfteklammer af dime roman fiktion indtil midten af ​​det tyvende århundrede.

I 1930'erne var tidevandet imidlertid begyndt at vende. Anthony Bimba, en marxistisk historiker, var den første til at tilbyde en større revision (The Molly Maguires, 1932), der satte Molly Maguire -affæren fast i forbindelse med arbejde og kapital.

Så bekymret var Bimba at vælte den herskende myte om Molly Maguires, at han vendte den på hovedet og beholdt dens elementer af cirkularitet, tautologi og sammensværgelse, mens han overførte ondskabens byrde fra irske arbejdere til deres arbejdsgivere. Ondskab er ikke en særlig nyttig kategori af historisk analyse, i hvert fald i tilfælde som denne, for den fryser tid og karakter frem for at forsøge at forklare årsagssammenhæng og motivation.

Hvorfor indrammede arbejdsgiverne tyve uskyldige mænd? Fordi de var onde eller, på en anden måde, fordi de var kapitalistiske. På samme tid ignorerede Bimba klassen og den etniske mangfoldighed blandt dem ved at kollapse alle arbejdere i en enkelt kategori, en betragtning, der nu er afgørende for vores forståelse.

J. Walter Coleman i The Molly Maguire Riots: Industrial Conflict in the Pennsylvania Coal Region (1936) var den første til at åbne op for denne undersøgelseslinje. På trods af sin tilsyneladende pejorative titel er Coleman ’s bog blandt de mest sympatiske og overbevisende beretninger om emnet.

Molly Maguires, argumenterede han, repræsenterede en specifikt irsk form for arbejdsprotest, adskilt fra den britisk-inspirerede tradition for fagforening i den antracitiske region. Hvis denne mangfoldighed er en af ​​nøglerne til at forstå Molly Maguires, er en anden den iboende pålidelighed af de beviser, der er fremlagt af James McParlan. Han var jo en uddannet løgner.

Begge disse punkter blev overbevisende fremført af Coleman, men blev stort set ignoreret i Wayne G. Broehl ’s The Molly Maguires (1964), som efter sin tids standarder synes nysgerrigt sympatisk for James McParlan, for hans arbejdsgiver Allan Pinkerton og for begge arbejdsgiver, Franklin B. Gowen.

En gengivelse af emnet mere i overensstemmelse med 1960'ernes radikale etik kan findes i filmen The Molly Maguires (instruktør Martin Ritt 1970) med Sean Connery i hovedrollen som helten (påstået Molly -leder John Kehoe) og Richard Harris som anti -helt (turncoat James McParlan).

Det er en afslørende fodnote til amerikansk kulturhistorie, at instruktøren, Walter Bernstein, var blevet sortlistet i McCarthy -æraen og delvist så sin film som et svar til Elia Kazan, der notorisk havde navngivet navne ” i 1950'erne, og hvis helt i On the Waterfront oplyser mod sine korrupte fagforeningschefer.

Hvordan skal man så give mening om Molly Maguires? Det er klart, at der er brug for en forklaring, der kan bryde fri af de to eksisterende fortolkningspoler: Molly Maguires som fordærvede mordere og Molly Maguires som uskyldige ofre for undertrykkelse, uanset om de er økonomiske, religiøse eller etniske.

Mollyerne selv, som var socialt marginaliserede og stort set analfabeter, efterlod os stort set ingen beviser, som udsætter emnet for alle mulige konspirationsteorier, fra både højre og venstre. Vi har imidlertid masser af beviser om dem efterladt af andre mennesker: arbejdsgivere, katolske præster, politikere, avisfolk, pjecer, folketællere, embedsmænd og samtidige historikere.

Læs omhyggeligt, disse beviser kan i det mindste give nogle pålidelige oplysninger om, hvem Mollys var. Lige så vigtigt kan de fortælle os meget om målene og motivationen for dem, der satte sig for at ødelægge dem. Til sidst kræver nogle grundlæggende historiske spørgsmål dog mindst et foreløbigt svar: Hvem var Molly Maguires, hvad gjorde de og hvorfor?

Startstedet for at søge svar på disse spørgsmål er landet, hvor Molly Maguires stammer fra. To the historian familiar with Ireland as well as the United States, the most striking aspect of the activities in Pennsylvania is how clearly they conformed to a pattern of violent protest evident in the Irish countryside from the mid-eighteenth century onward.

The Molly Maguires, who emerged toward the end of the Great Famine (1845�), were so named because their members (invariably young men) disguised themselves in women’s clothing, used powder or burnt cork on their faces, and pledged their allegiance to a mythical woman who symbolized their struggle against injustice.

The American Mollys were evidently a rare transatlantic outgrowth of this pattern of Irish rural protest. Contrary to contemporary conspiracy theories, however, it is highly unlikely that there was any direct continuity of organization or personnel between Ireland and Pennsylvania.

There is no evidence at all that a conspiratorial organization was somehow imported into the United States by Irish immigrants, nor is there any evidence that individuals convicted in Pennsylvania had been involved in violent activities in Ireland.

The immigrants did arrive, however, with a cultural memory and established social traditions. Faced with appalling conditions in the mines of Pennsylvania, they responded by deploying a specifically Irish form of collective violence against their enemies, up to and including assassination.

To that extent, the American Molly Maguires clearly did exist, even if they never existed as the full-fledged diabolical organization depicted by contemporaries. They were not purely a figment of the conspiratorial imagination indeed the conspiracy theories about them could have achieved little credibility if Irish workers had not been engaged in collective violence of some sort.

There were two distinct waves of Molly Maguire activity in Pennsylvania, one in the 1860s and the other in the 1870s. The first wave, which included six assassinations, occurred during and directly after the Civil War.

Nobody was convicted of these crimes at the time, although a mysterious group called the Molly Maguires was widely believed to be responsible. Only during the trials of the 1870s were the killings of the previous decade retrospectively traced to individual members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

At the heart of the violence in the 1860s was a combination of resistance to the military draft with some form of rudimentary labor organizing by a shadowy group known variously as the “Committee,” the “Buckshots,” and the “Molly Maguires.” During the crisis of the Civil War, all forms of labor organizing were seen as potentially seditious.

The second wave of violence did not occur until 1875, in part because of the introduction of a more efficient policing and judicial system, but mainly because of the emergence of a powerful new trade union, the Workingmen’s Benevolent Association (WBA), which united Irish, British, and U.S. workers across the lines of ethnicity and skill.

The labor movement of the anthracite region now took two distinct but overlapping forms: a powerful and inclusive trade union movement, half of whose leaders were Irishborn and an exclusively Irish and largely unskilled group of workers called the Molly Maguires.

Favoring collective bargaining, strikes, and peaceful reform, the leaders of the WBA publicly condemned violence, singling out the Molly Maguires specifically. Yet Franklin B. Gowen repeatedly insisted that the WBA was simply a cover for the Molly Maguires, who constituted the union’s terrorist arm.

Although this claim was manifestly false, it was highly effective by collapsing the distinction between the two organizations Gowen succeeded in destroying the power of both. Not only was the union discredited by this strategy, the Molly Maguires were equipped with an institutional structure they never had. The defeat of one would now entail the defeat of the other.

To gather information against both arms of the labor movement, Gowen hired Allan Pinkerton in October 1873. Pinkerton dispatched James McParlan to the anthracite region. Several other agents would follow later. Shortly after McParlan fled the anthracite region, in spring 1875, matters reached a climax. After a heroic six-month strike against Gowen and his railroad, the WBA went down to final defeat.

In the disarray that followed, the Molly Maguires stepped up their activities to a new level: six of the sixteen assassinations attributed to them took place in the summer of 1875, even as the leaders of the now-defunct trade union continued to voice their condemnation. In January 1876 the arrests began, and that summer the famous trials commenced.

With labor utterly defeated, Franklin B. Gowen completed his conquest of the local economy, securing full control over production and distribution in the lower anthracite region. This was the goal the trade union and the Molly Maguires had long threatened, and it is quite clear that Gowen had been prepared to take all necessary means to eliminate that threat.

For almost a century nobody in the Pennsylvania anthracite region was willing to say much about the Molly Maguires. The story was too painful, too divisive. Not the least remarkable aspect of this ongoing story, however, has been a dramatic renewal of interest in the anthracite region itself.

Every June 21 for the last six years several hundred people have arrived in the mining region to commemorate the Molly Maguires. Descendants of the convicted men and their alleged victims have sat down together to eat, drink, and talk.


The Molly Maguires were a secret organization of Irish coal miners established in nineteenth century Pennsylvania to fight oppressive mineowners. Led by Jack Kehoe, they plant gunpowder to destroy plant shafts and equipment. Pinkerton Detective James McParland was employed to infiltrate the Mollies.

The film begins in a coalmine in Pennsylvania in the 1876. Coal is still dug by hand and taken out on rails in wagons pulled by ponies. Pit props are improvised with timber. Conditions are always dirty, often cramped and generally unhealthy. Miners are shown with naked flames on their hats as their only light source. Men are showing planting charges. This appears to be work-related but all men leave the mine and the resultant explosion destroys the mine.

Pinkerton sends James McParlan (Richard Harris) to investigate. He arrives by train in the late evening and goes to a local bar and orders a beer, while Kehoe (Sean Connery) observes and motions for Dougherty and Frazier to deal with the matter. McParlan joins Dougherty and Frazier at a card table and says he is looking for work in the mine. They are suspicious and see his hands have never dug coal. They accuse him of cheating and deliberately start a fight. Police Captain Davies (Frank Finlay) breaks up the fight and arrests McParlan. However this is just a ploy as the police know McParlan's role. Davies explains to McParlan the problem of the Molly Maguires - and that they are named after a gang in Ireland. They need an inside man to infiltrate the pit.

McParlan rents a room from Mary Raines and gives his name as McKenna. He goes to the pit to ask for a job and is told to come back a 5 o clock in the morning on the following day. Back at the house he befriends Mary's father.

He begins work the next day - it is back-breaking work and he is exhausted. At the end of the week he joins the long queue for pay. He is paid $9.24 however a long list is made of "deductions" including cost of explosives and cost of shovels. $9 is deducted so his pay for the week is 24 cents.

In church the priest condemns "last night's actions" by the Molly Maguires - beating a watchman and flooding a mine. James attends church with Mary.

Kenoe confronts James in the pit the next day and asks why he is there. A fake accident is organised where Kehoe rescues James from a huge avalanche of coal. James then gives a false confession saying he is there to avoid the law as he is a forger, and he is in hiding. He also says he killed a man in Buffalo, New York over a woman. Kehoe discusses "McKenna" with his wife and then with other miners. They do suspect that he is a spy.

After a violent football match with a rival pit, Dougherty gets in a fight with one of the rivals and is beaten up by the police. James is asked to take a revenge action and breaks a policeman's jaw (we do not see this). The captain chastises James but he said he had to make it look real (quoting the captain regarding his earlier attack in the bar).

Kehoe and the four other ringleaders appear at the Raines house and usher old Mr Raines away. They ask James to kneel an they make the sign of the cross. He thinks he is going to die but instead they make him a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernian. Mary chides him for joining but the next day they take a train trip to the city and go shopping. While Mary is looking at hats he has a rendezvous with the captain and gets payment for giving the names of the ringleaders.

A train of coal wagons is derailed by an explosion on the track co-ordinated by the Mollys. At a meeting of the Hibernians James is asked to put a superintendent at the Shenandoah pit out of action. Kehoe and James go to Shenandoah but are ambushed by the police. The police arrest eight men back at the pit but all men have alibis. James is taken to the captain to interview, who beats him up before he returns for realism.

By now James and Mary are in love. They go for a picnic and discuss morality.

Frazier and his wife are murdered in their bed by police (the "peelers") in a revenge attack. At the funeral the priest shows little sympathy. Dougherty is arrested for killing the superintendent of the Shenandoah (John W. Jones), but this is a ploy to bring the real killers forward. As old Mr Raines gets the last rites the priest calls Kehoe to discuss the whole affair. At Mr Raines' wake the Mollys meet in a back room. The wake party break into the company store and steal a suit for Mr Raines to be buried in. But Kehoe then gets carried away and starts stealing more things. He is distracted when James starts destroying bottles of alcohol with a shovel. They decide to set the store on fire.

Kehoe and McAndrew are caught red-handed as they break into the explosives store at the pit and find it is full of police.

Only at the trial do they discover James' true identity. Mary watches in shock. Kehoe, McAndrew and Dougherty are sentenced to death. Mary explains she could cope with him as a murderer but not as a traitor.

Awaiting execution, Kehoe is visited in the death cell by James. They have a quiet and civilised conversation. Kehoe sees that James seeks absolution. He suddenly loses his temper and attacks James. He is rescued by the warders. He tells his one-time ally that no punishment short of hell can redeem his treachery. Detective McParland retorts that in that case, "See you in hell."

    as "Black Jack" Kehoe as Detective James McParlan/James McKenna as Miss Mary Raines as Police Captain Davies as Tom Dougherty as Mrs. Kehoe as Frazier as the priest, Father O'Connor
  • Anthony Costello as Frank McAndrew
  • Brendan Dillon as Dan Raines, Mary's Father as Jenkins as Mrs. Frazier as Bartender

The opening sequence of The Molly Maguires runs 14 minutes and 51 seconds, through three Henry Mancini scores, before the first word of dialogue is spoken.

The majority of the location filming occurred in Northeastern Pennsylvania in 1969. The town of Eckley, was so unchanged from its 1870s appearance that the only major alterations needed for filming were to remove television antennas and install underground electric wiring. A wooden coal breaker which was built as a prop and is featured extensively in the film, partially stands to this day. The movie resulted in the town's being saved from demolition. It was afterward converted into a mining museum under the control of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Portions of the film were also shot in Jim Thorpe. The courtroom, where the trial scene was filmed is in the Carbon County Courthouse, used for trials until 1996. Railroad scenes were filmed on the now-defunct Carrol Park & Western Railroad in Bloomsburg.

The Molly Maguires soundtrack composed by Henry Mancini replaced that originally composed by Charles Strouse. Mancini's score employed Irish modal harmony, played by period instruments including the Irish Harp, Tin Whistle (pennywhistle) and Squeezebox. Both soundtracks were released by Kritzerland in 2012 on a limited edition CD, now sold-out.

A big budget film for its time, with stars Connery (who had recently left the James Bond franchise) and Harris (Camelot) at career peaks, it was considered a major box-office failure. Social issue director Ritt would score later with Norma Rae (1979). This was the next-to-the-last film for legendary cinematographer James Wong Howe, who had previously worked with Ritt on Hud og Hombre.

The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Art Direction (Art Direction Tambi Larsen Set Decoration: Darrell Silvera). [4]


Tidslinje

  • 1861: Within weeks of Abraham Lincoln's inauguration, the U.S. Civil War begins with the shelling of Fort Sumter. Six states secede from the Union, joining South Carolina to form the Confederate States of America (later joined by four other states) and electing Jefferson Davis as president. The first major battle of the war, at Bull Run or Manassas in Virginia, is a Confederate victory.
  • 1862: Victor Hugo's Les Misérables depicts injustices in French society, and Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons introduces the term nihilism.
  • 1863: World's first subway opens, in London.
  • 1864: International Red Cross in Geneva is established.
  • 1865:Civil War ends with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia. More than 600,000 men have died, and the South is in ruins, but the Union has been restored. A few weeks after the Confederate surrender, John Wilkes Booth shoots President Lincoln while the latter attends a performance at Ford's Theater in Washington. Andrew Johnson is sworn is as president.
  • 1868:Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which grants civil rights to African Americans, is ratified.
  • 1871: Boss Tweed corruption scandal in New York City.
  • 1873: Financial panic begins in Vienna, and soon spreads to other European financial centers, as well as to the United States.
  • 1874: As farm wages in Britain plummet, agricultural workers go on strike.
  • 1876: General George Armstrong Custer and 264 soldiers are killed by the Sioux at the Little Big Horn River.
  • 1876:Alexander Graham Bell introduces the telephone.

Who Were the Molly Maguires? - HISTORY

In 1875, a writer of the time observed, there came from coal-mining district of Pennsylvania "an appalling series of tales of murder, of arson, and of every description of violent crime." Mine company superintendents and bosses "could all rest assured that their days would not be long in the land." As John Morse reports in his account of the Molly Maguire Trials, mining officials "everywhere and at all times were attacked, beaten, and shot down, by day and by night. on the public highways and in their own homes, in solitary places and in the neighborhood of crowds." Largely through the efforts of one man, James McParlan, working undercover and gaining the trust of the secretive organization's leaders, the fearful grip over the anthracite region was broken, and one Molly after another led to his date with the gallows.

After Frederick Geisenheimer devised a means for smelting iron with anthracite coal in 1833, coal production in the ravines and hills of a five-county district of eastern Pennsylvania began to boom. The Irish potato famine unleashed a wave of immigrants in the 1840s to American shores, and many thousands found jobs in Pennsylvania's anthracite region. Among the Irish immigrants were members of a secret society, with a history of agrarian agitation and violence, called the Molly Maguires (or Ribbonmen ). In his undercover report on the Mollys, Pinkerton detective James McParlan described the aim of the Irish Mollys "to take from those who had in abundance and give it to the poor." Mollies sometimes adopted the practice of dressing in women's clothing and visiting shopkeepers. Though the disguise was not intended to fool anyone, it was meant to represent--to the storekeeper from whom handouts or price reductions were demanded--the poor Irish mother begging for food to put on her children's table. Quite possibly, the female disguises used by the Irish Mollys in their intimidations and acts of violence gave rise to their name.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) was, throughout most of the northeast in the mid-nineteenth century, a peaceful fraternal organization. In the mineral district, however, the AOH evolved into the organization through which the Molly Maguires sought to achieve their conspiratorial aims. In Pennsylvania's "red axis of violence," the Mollys and AOH--the only organization in the area open to immigrants--were one and the same society. From a period during the 1850s when AOH was associated primarily with political corruption it transformed into an organization willing to use violence to achieve the economic aims of mine-employee members.

By the early 1870s, a reign of terror existed in Shuylkill, Carbon, Luzerne, Columbia, and Northumberland Counties. Any personal slight, reduction in wages, adverse change in working conditions, or imagined grievance against a Molly could inspire a revengeful house burning or cold-blooded murder. In a Molly murder trial, Franklin Gowen, president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad whose lines ran through the five-county region, described the terror: "Men retired to their homes at eight or nine o'clock in the evening, and no one ventured beyond the precincts of his own door. Every man engaged in any enterprise of magnitude, or connected with industrial pursuits, left his home in the morning with his hand upon his pistol, unknowing whether he would again return alive. The very foundations of society were being overturned."

No one stood in graver danger than mine superintendents and bosses. If one were to seriously cross a Molly "body-master" (or secretary), his life--according to historian Cleveland Moffett, "was as good as forfeited." Often, the soon-to-be victim would receive a "coffin notice," a written warning depicting a coffin. The Mollys developed a system of reciprocity for their violence. Typically, the body-master of one "district" would ask the body-master of a nearby district to send a team of men over to carry out the murder. (The reciprocal system was designed to make identification of the perpetrators less likely.) After successful completion of a violent mission, assassins usually received a small monetary reward and were treated to a drunken revel.

Unending violence in the anthracite region convinced Franklin Gowen to approach Allan Pinkerton about the possibility of hiring a detective to infiltrate the secret ranks of the Mollys. "I have the very man for you," Pinkerton told Gowen. Pinkerton had in mind thirty-year-old James McParlan, a young man who had advanced rapidly up the Pinkerton ranks. A few weeks later, McParlan accepted the dangerous job. He would earn $12 per week plus expenses and would be required to file daily reports. His orders from Allan Pinkerton were clear: "You are to remain in the field until every cut-throat has paid with his life for the lives so cruelly taken." On October 27, 1873, McParlan, calling himself "James McKenna," arrived in Port Clinton to begin his undercover operation.

At the Sheridan House, a rough drinking establishment in Pottsville, McParlan's drink-buying, dancing, card-playing, and tough-talking won him the admiration of local Mollies. On April 14, 1874, "McKenna" became a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, sworn into the organization by Alexander Campbell, who would hang three years later on the basis of McParlan's testimony. It would be more than a year after his initiation, however, before McParlan--under heavy pressure from the mines and the Pinkerton Agency during the Long Strike of 1874-75--would uncover any "murderous plots." By then, McParlan had been chosen as the body-master for the Shenandoah division of the Mollys and, as such, was expected to supply men for sabotage, arson, and murder when called upon by body-masters of other divisions. Through a mix of warnings and diplomacy, McParlan managed to carry out his expected duties without loss of life.

Four prominent murders, and one near murder, in the summer of 1875 provoked widespread outrage and eventually would lead to a series of trials that effectively ended the Mollies' reign of terror. On June 28, 1875, in a revenge attack ordered by Jack Kehoe, four Mollys shot "Bully Bill" Thomas as he stood in a stable and left him for dead, though he survived. McParlan had advance knowledge of the attack (he even had issued the summons for a gathering to plan the murder), but was unable to warn the victim for fear of blowing his cover. (McParlan's failure to warn Thomas of the imminent danger he faced would be a major defense theme in the subsequent trial for the attack.) A week after the attempt on Thomas's lifer, a police officer named Benjamin Yost was shot and killed as he climbed a ladder to extinguish a street light in the town of Tamaqua. The next month, three Mollys murdered mine superintendent John P. Jones in revenge for his decision to fire and blacklist striking miners. Then, just two days later on September 1, mine superintendent Thomas Sanger and Welsh non-union miner William Uren were gunned down near Wiggan's Patch as they walked to work. (The double murder at Wiggan's Patch prompted a vigilante mob to attack the home of Charles O'Donnell, a suspect in the killings, and kill him and his daughter and son.)

McParlan, in his undercover role, became intimately familiar with the Molly role in the string of summer attacks. He learned from fellow body-master "Powder Keg" Kerrigan that he had issued the order that resulted in officer Yost's killing. Kerrigan told McParlan that Yost was a victim of mistaken identity, as the actual target of the revenge killing was another police officer, Bernard McCarron, who had on several occasions years earlier arrested him on disorderly conduct charges and, more recently, had beaten miner James Duffy. (Yost and McCarron had exchanged their usual beats on the night in question.) Yost's assassins were two members of the Carbon County division of the Mollys, Hugh McGehan and James Doyle. Kerrigan showed McParlan the gun used to kill Yost, a .32 caliber revolver owned by James Roarity. Kerrigan also revealed to McParlan the names of two other men, Duffy and James Carl, involved in the plot. Responsibility for the murder of superintendent John Jones initially fell to McParlan, under orders from county delegate Jack Kehoe to do a "clean job." Claiming to be seriously ill, McParlan dithered and dathered until the assassination was reassigned. McParlan's men did not kill Jones--that job fell to Mollys Doyle and Edward Kelly. The pain McParlan felt over Jones's death was soon aggravated when he learned of the two killing in Wiggan's Patch by five armed killers.

By the end of 1875, the job was clearly taking its toll on McParlan, who was anxious to put an end to the killing: "I am sick and tired of this work," McParlan wrote to Pinkerton. "I hear of murder and bloodshed in all directions. The very sun to me looks crimson the air is polluted, and the rivers seem running red with human blood. Something must be done to stop it." With the help of McParlan, authorities had been gathering substantial evidence of Molly guilt in the string of murders in the anthracite region. It was time to begin to put the perpetrators on trial. For McParlan's sake, the trials would come just in time--doubts about McParlan were fast growing among the Mollys.

The year of 1876 saw a series of Molly trials and convictions. Arrested by private policeman and prosecuted by mining and railroad company attorneys, the trials, in the words of historian Harold Aurand, "marked one of the most astounding surrenders of sovereignty in American history." Aurand notes that the state's role in the proceeding was limited to providing "the courtroom and hangman." Another troubling feature of the trials was the systematic exclusion of Irish Americans from juries. In the entire series of Molly trials, not a single Irish American was empaneled on a jury. Instead, the fate of the Mollys was decided largely by German immigrants, many of whom admitted to understanding English only poorly.

First to face trial, beginning on January 18, was Michael Doyle of the Molly Maguires' Laffee district, charged with the murder of superintendent Jones. The trial established a pattern for the several Molly trials that followed. Lead prosecutor, mining company attorney Charles Albright, added color to the proceeding by appearing in court wearing his full civil war uniform (he served as a general in the Union army) complete with sword. With an unsympathetic judge and a jury of German immigrants, Doyle's fate was sealed. In didn't help the defendant that the prosecution convinced Powder Keg Kerrigan, in exchange for leniency, to testify. On February 1, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on the first-degree murder charge.

Within the days that followed, acting under information provided by McParlan and in a 210-page confession by Kerrigan, arrest warrants were issued for 17 Mollys. In March, Edward Kelly went on trial for the murder of superintendent Jones. He, too, was quickly convicted and sentenced to be hanged. Alex Campbell, owner of the Storm Hill tavern where the Jones murder was allegedly planned, was also successfully prosecuted, despite remarkably flimsy evidence of guilt.

On May 6, James McParlan, guarded by fellow Pinkertons, returned to Pottsville to testify in the Benjamin Yost murder trial of five Mollys. If there remained any doubt among miners about where the true loyalty of "James McKenna" lay, it ended when he answered, in response to the usual question of a witness--"What is your full name?"--"James McParlan." In his 1876 account of the trial, John Morse wrote that the detective's answer brought forth "a deep and universal groan" from "the disheartened mass, who now recognized that the fate of the prisoners was sealed beyond doubt or hope." McParlan proceeded to tell jurors that three of the defendants had confessed to him first-hand, and that Thomas Duffy was the chief conspirator in the murder plot. With McParlan's testimony concerning the plot against Yost, plus the testimony of Kerrigan, convictions were handed down against Duffy, James Carroll, James Roarity, Hugh McGehan, and James Boyle.

On June 27, the trial of Thomas Munley for the murders of Thomas Sanger and William Uren opened. The Munley prosecution rested almost entirely on the testimony of McParlan. Except for the detective's words, the only other evidence of Munley's guilt came from a woman who testified that she saw Munley at the murder scene, gun in hand. In his fiery summation for the prosecution, Franklin Gowen suggested to the jury that Munley belonged to an organization that has claimed "hundreds of unknown victims whose bones now lie mouldering over the face of this county--in hidden places, and by silent paths, in the dark ravines of the mountains, and in the secret ledges of rocks." Munley was convicted and sentenced to death.

The most celebrated and controversial of the Molly trials opened on August 8. Body-master Jack Kehoe (called "the King of the Mollies") and eight others faced charges of attempted murder for the wounding of William Thomas.

The prosecution presented a compelling case against the defendants. William Thomas, the intended murder victim, identified one of the defendants, John Gibbons, as the man who shot him in the neck. McParlan described the inner workings of the Molly organization and outlined the plot to kill Thomas. McParlan testified that Kehoe "advocated that the best plan was to get a couple of men well armed, and go right up to him on the street and shoot him down in daylight, or any time when can get him." Defendant Francis McHugh, in a bid to escape the death penalty, corroborated key parts of McParlan's testimony and admitted to participating in a meeting where it was decided that Thomas "should be put out of the road." The warden of the Schuylkill County jail testified that Jack Kehoe, commenting on the result of an earlier Molly trial while in jail awaiting his own said, "I think it will go rough with us too, [but] if we don't get justice, I don't think the old man at Harrisburg will go back on us." (The "old man at Harrisburg" was Pennsylvania Governor Hartranft, elected with labor support, who Kehoe thought likely to issue a pardon.) The warden's testimony was admitted over defense objections of irrelevance, with Judge Walker apparently concluding that Kehoe's words amounted to an admission of guilt.

The defense theory of the case was that McParlan himself was the chief instigator of the crime, and now sought to escape blame by pointing fingers at those far less culpable than himself. Unfortunately for the defense, McParlan made a strong witness, withstanding their efforts to tie him to the crime. As one historian reported, he "stood the test of a severe and searching examination with a degree of straightforward readiness, really quite remarkable in view of the minuteness of the interrogation."

Beyond a vain hope of tying McParlan to the assault, the defense relied chiefly on a lengthy parade of witnesses called to prove the good character of the defendants. According to John Morse's account of the trial, "Probably a more ignorant gang never passed in ludicrous procession through a witness-box." Some witnesses seemed not to understand what was meant by the word "reputation." Others testified that while they themselves knew nothing of Kehoe's evil deeds, they had to admit his reputation was bad. One witness, for example, told jurors: "As to his conduct, that has always been good, but as far as the reputation goes, I never did hear much good." Still others made comments that strained credulity, such as the witness who called Molly Dennis Canning "a gentleman in all respects." Gibbons might have been least well served by the character witnesses, with one admitting that when Gibbons "had liquor in him he was a little wild" and another testifying that he never saw Gibbons do much but drink.

Another strategy of the defense was to suggest that Bill Thomas was a ne'er-do-well who only got what was coming to him. John Morse allows as to how the defense "had an excellent subject to deal with in Thomas" who, he wrote, "does not appear to have been an extremely valuable member of the community." Largely, however, the defense mud-throwing at Thomas missed the mark with the jury.

In closing for the prosecution, Frank Gowen paid tribute to James McParlan, whose dangerous undercover work had caused him to "tremble for his life with as much solicitude as I did for the lives of any upon this earth." Gowen suggested that if McParlan had been able to continue his work for another year, prosecutions could have reached the very top ranks of the national organization of Mollys: "You would have had the pleasure of hanging some men who are not citizens of Schuylkill County. We would have got the head of this Order in Pittsburgh, and we would have got its head in New York."

Gowen's emotional and far-ranging summation led to a motion for a mistrial by the defense. "The learned gentlemen representing the Commonwealth had travelled outside of the evidence in this case, charging men with crimes, to wit, the highest crime known to law, without a scintilla of evidence in this case charging them with the crime of murder, unproven, untestified to." Judge Walker promptly denied the motion.

Attorney M. M. L'Velle offered the first summation for the defense. He reminded jurors that "the maxim of the law clothes [the defendants] with innocence as pure as doves--yea, as white as snow--until doubt is dispelled in your minds." L'Velle called McParlan an "emissary of death" and a "wily miscreant" who had entrapped well-intentioned young men into committing criminal acts. "Of all the devils who have been in this county plotting against peace and good order, this man, McParlan was the worst." James Ryon closed last for the defense. He asked jurors to be skeptical of McParlan's and McHugh's testimony: "I do not believe that men ought to be hung or imprisoned on the testimony of. accomplices in a crime who are swearing themselves out and swearing others in. The biggest knaves always turn state's evidence, because they want to get themselves out and get somebody else in." If McParlan really was on the side of peace and good order, Ryon argued, he would have immediately warned Thomas of his danger and exposed the plot against him. "McParlan was at the bottom of all these crimes, " Ryon concluded, "and by the aid of the money he was furnished, and the power that he wielded, he not only plotted their commission but succeeded in carrying them out."

The jury took only twenty minutes to decide the case. It returned a verdict of guilty against all twelve defendants, with a recommendation of mercy in the case of Frank McHugh. All defendants except McHugh received the maximum prison term for attempted murder of seven years.

On August 15, seven Mollys went on trial for "aiding and assisting to reward Thomas Hurley for the murder of Gomer James." McParlan once again provided the key testimony, describing an AOH meeting in Tamaqua where a reward for Hurley was discussed. Additional drama in the trial came when Patrick Butler broke down on the stand and admitted guilt. After only fifteen minutes of deliberation, the jury returned guilty verdicts against all defendants, with a recommendation of mercy for Butler.

Not satisfied with a mere prison term for Jack Kehoe, authorities launched in late 1876 a prosecution of Kehoe for a murder committed in 1862. In June of that year, mine foreman Frank Langdon, expressed strong pro-Union sentiments at a public meeting. Jack Kehoe, along many other Irish miners, shared anti-Union sentiments (Kehoe, for example, used the occasion to spit on the American flag). Kehoe allegedly told Langdon after his speech, "You son of a bitch, I'll kill you." It was Kehoe's second threat against Langdon in a matter of weeks, the first coming after the foreman docked Kehoe's pay. Leaving the meeting, Langdon received a severe beating from a gang of men and died the following day. No witness placed Kehoe at the scene of the attack--and one witness specifically testified that he was not among the gang of men who beat Langdon. Historian Kevin Kenny, author of Making Sense of the Molly Maguires , called Kehoe's first-degree murder conviction fifteen years later "unquestionably the most dubious of all the verdicts handed down to the Molly Maguires."

The last of the major Molly trials opened on February 8, 1877 in Bloomsburg. Patrick Hester, Peter McHugh and Patrick Tully faced trial for the murder of mine superintendent Alexander Rea in 1868. A detailed confession by "Kelly the Bum" (Manus Cull) made the trial outcome a foregone conclusion and all three defendants received sentences of death.


Mollys being led to the gallows in Pottsville on June 21, 1877

Appeals proved unsuccessful. Twenty Mollys made walks to the gallows. Thursday June 21, 1877, known as "Black Thursday" saw ten miners hang, six in Pottsville and four in Mauch Chunk. Jack Kehoe's date with the rope came on December 18, 1878, following the denial of his pardon appeal by Governor Hartranft.

James McParlan continued his work for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1906, while head of the agency's Denver office, McParlan took the lead role in investigating the assassination of Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg. His work led to charges being filed against "Big Bill" Haywood and two other leaders of the Western Federation of Miners, but the labor leaders were successfully defended by Clarence Darrow in a celebrated trial.

Franklin Gowen, the chief prosecutor in several of the major Molly trials, became President of the Reading Railroad. After the railroad fell into bankruptcy in 1889, Gowen committed suicide.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians cut its ties with the Mollys by the late 1870s and renewed its association with the Catholic Church. The early lodges in Pennsylvania's anthracite region were written out of AOH history.

The Molly trials fueled discrimination against Irish Americans and suspicion of the trade union movement, both of which lingered for decades. With the executions, a measure of peace returned to the Pennsylvania mining district. In the words of Kevin Kenny, "A particular Irish tradition of retributive justice. died on the scaffold with the Molly Maguires."


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