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Topics in Chronicling America - Molly Maguires

An Irish secret society known as the Molly Maguires is thought responsible for a string of violent attacks in the Pennsylvania coal fields. After Pinkerton detective James McParlan goes undercover to join their ranks, 20 Mollies are tried, convicted, and hanged. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
Picture of Pinkerton James McPartland recounting his infiltration of the Molly Maguires

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • 1862-1875. Wave of assaults, robberies, and murders attributed to the Molly Maguires.
  • January-June 1875. “The Long Strike,” scene of some of the most violent crimes in labor history.
  • 1876-1877. Molly Maguire Trials.
  • June 21, 1877. Ten Mollies convicted of murder hanged. Known as “Black Thursday” or “Day of the Rope.”
  • December 18, 1878. Jack Kehoe, alleged Molly Maguire leader hanged for the murder of mine boss, F. W. Langdon.
  • December 15, 1889. The suicide of Franklin B. Gowen, former railroad president leads to conspiracy theories.
  • 1911. Pinkerton James McPartlan recounts his infiltration of the Molly Maguires in various newspapers.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Molly Maguire, Mollie Maguire, Molley Maguire, Mollies, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Workingman’s Benevolent Association, McParlan, McParland, Gowen.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  June 30, 2015
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