||A history of the secret labor movement that grew among the Irish coal miners of Pennsylvania in the 19th century. The Molly Maguires arose as a result of the exploitation of laborers by mine owners, and they did not hesitate to wage a campaign of terror against their oppressors, assassinating their enemies and destroying company properties. Eventually they were suppressed, with equal violence, by Pinkerton agents and federal troops.
||In Pennsylvania in the 1870s, 20 Irish immigrants, suspected of comprising a secret terrorist organization called the Molly Maguires, were executed for the murder of 16 men. Combining social and cultural history, this work offers a new explanation of who the Molly Maguires were and in the process, vividly retells one of the classic stories of American labor and immigration. Photos.
|Editors Note 2
||Twenty Irish immigrants, suspected of belonging to a secret terrorist organization called the Molly Maguires, were executed in Pennsylvania in the 1870s for the murder of sixteen men. Ever since, there has been enormous disagreement over who the Molly Maguires were, what they did, and why they did it, as virtually everything we now know about the Molly Maguires is based on the hostile descriptions of their contemporaries. Arguing that such sources are inadequate to serve as the basis for a factual narrative, author Kevin Kenny examines the ideology behind contemporary evidence to explain how and why a particular meaning came to be associated with the Molly Maguires in Ireland and Pennsylvania. At the same time, this work examines new archival evidence from Ireland that establishes that the American Molly Maguires were a rare transatlantic strand of the violent protest endemic in the Irish countryside. Combining social and cultural history, Making Sense of the Molly Maguires offers a new explanation of who the Molly Maguires were, as well as why people wrote and believed such curious things about them. In the process, it vividly retells one of the classic stories of American labor and immigration.