To combat the progress of anthracite miners who banded together in the mid-1870s, mine operators and railroad owners looked for ways to retake power. They settled on fear to scare citizens into compliance. Although isolated pockets of violence existed in nineteenth century Northeastern Pennsylvania, they were not coordinated efforts. Yet, the rhetoric of editors at nativist newspapers linked the random violence to Irish Catholic immigrants. Molly Maguires, they called them, after a group of vigilantes from the West of Ireland. By tying the fledgling labor union to the fictional group, The Reading Railroad's Franklin B. Gowen crushed it by association. In his wake, twenty mostly innocent men were hanged while the perpetrators of crimes-including a Pinkerton detective-went unpunished for their role in the mayhem. Lives were ruined. Families were broken, and the land was scarred with division and hate. The repercussions still reverberate through the area today.
Jack: The Almost True Story of the Molly Maguires is narrated by the granddaughter of Irish Catholic immigrants and miners. In a series of flashbacks that move from the late 19th century to the present and back again, Jack is a gripping reconstruction of events from the time of the mythic Molly Maguires.
Sunday, April 14, 2024 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25.00 which includes a signed copy of his book or $15.00 for admission to the lecture only. Seating is limited so contact the club to reserve a seat.
Question? Reach Bill News a @ or the MacSwiney Club at @ or, call the MacSwiney Club at 215-576-9290.