Molly Maguires


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Molly Maguires

(məgwī`ərz), secret organization of Irish-Americans in the coal-mining districts of Pennsylvania. Its name came from a woman who led an extralegal, antilandlord organization in Ireland during the 1840s, and its membership was drawn from the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish-American fraternal society. For several years, especially from c.1865 to 1875, the Molly Maguires dominated the mining industry of E Pennsylvania. The movement arose to combat the oppressive industrial and living conditions. Since the police and the forces for law and order were entirely controlled by the mine owners, the Molly Maguires often resorted to intimidating or murdering the police. Agents and superintendents were continually molested. The Mollies reached the height of their power c.1875, when they managed to organize a union in a region otherwise virtually unorganized and to call a strike. Franklin Gowen, president of the Reading RR, which had extensive mining interests, hired the Pinkerton agency to infiltrate the union, and the power of the Molly Maguires was finally broken by the spying activities of James McParlan, a Pinkerton detective. Ten of the Molly Maguires were hanged. McParlan's secret reports were released for study in 1947.

Molly Maguires

antilandlord organization; used any means to combat mine owners (1860s, 1870s). [Am. Hist.: Van Doren, 272]
See: Riot
References in periodicals archive ?
In most cases, Dr Kelly said that 'the Molly Maguires looked for rent abatements rather than non-payment of rent and it is clear that while the failure of the potato crop in 1845 had a major impact on the tenants' abilities to pay their rents, this was not the main impetus behind the Molly Maguire movement.
Every executive in this global industry is either an actual or honorary member of the Freemasons, Opus Dei, Trilateral Commission, Skull and Bones, Mafia, or Molly Maguires.
To explain how everyone got into so much bloody trouble in May 1886, Green, a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, must acquaint us with capital's war on labor in the nineteenth century, using courts, cops, Pinkertons, the National Guard, and even militias against the very idea of an eight-hour working day; with union movements in Chicago among skilled craftsmen and unskilled laborers, often at odds; with radical ideologies, not all imported from Europe, and ethnic neighborhoods, some more fraternal than others; with John Brown, the Molly Maguires, and the Paris Commune; with Clarence Darrow, John Peter Altgeld, and Eugene V.
Anthracite Lads: A True Story of the Fables Molly Maguires is a unique book that strives to reexamine a facet of American History in a new light.
Irish actor Harris, who later went on to capture hearts in his role as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, was seen as a legitimate target by hardline loyalists, after remarks he made during the launch of the movie The Molly Maguires.
Behaving Badly: The Life Of Richard Harris 1930-2002, was written by respected biographer Cliff Goodwin who claims a loyalist gang stalked the late Irish actor in London following his appearance in the film The Molly Maguires.
We stayed at the 100-year-old Hotel Jonas, a former stagecoach stop, toured the local coal baron's mansion, and visited the old Carbon County jail, where pioneering organizers of the Molly Maguires were hanged.
University of Oregon history professor Daniel Pope will give a talk titled "From the Molly Maguires to al-Qaeda: Terrorism, Dissent and Repression.
Sean was asked again in 1968 when he was making The Molly Maguires, which dealt with a subject close to his heart - labour relations.
Adler found crinkled, yellowed and cracked papers detailing detectives' investigations of the Molly Maguires, a secret group founded by coal miners in Pennsylvania that used terrorist tactics against mine owners until it was infiltrated by the Pinkertons.
Molly Maguires, Pullman Strikers, and the Knights of Labor into a sweeping narrative, Young does not present a simple, straightforward history of Debs.
But historians have more frequently focused their attention on the story of the Molly Maguires.