Saturday, September 24, 2016

New Essay Collection


R
eaders are invited to browse the collection of essays posted here.

“Jug-Handled Justice” describes railroad president Franklin Gowens almost single-handed usurpation of Pennsylvania's criminal justice system for the duration of the “Molly Maguire” trials. At this essay's conclusion John Elliott, the attorney who helped secure John Kehoe's 1979 posthumous pardon, gives a summation of Gowens actions. 

“The ‘Mollies’ Were Also School Directors” gives the background of five Hibernians prosecuted as “Mollies” who served in office as school directors. This piece also documents a resurgent tide of nativist feeling that manifested in the northeastern United States in the early 1870s.

“Pennsylvania’s ‘Molly Maguires’: The Surprising Western Caseload,” describes the “Molly” caseload in three western Pennsylvania counties. This effort from 1878 to 1882 involved dozens of defendants. It failed as spectacularly as the eastern effort succeeded.

“The ‘Molly Maguires’ and the National Labor Union” describes the relationship between alleged “Molly” Patrick Hester and Richard Trevellick, president during the early 1870s of the National Labor Union, a countrywide coalition of tradesmen.

“The ‘Molly Kings’ and Greenback Labor Reform” describes the role of Hibernians charged as “Mollies” in a progressive nineteenth-century financial reform effort. In particular, this essay discusses the relationship between Kehoe and U.S. Congressman John Killinger, a vocal proponent of Greenback Labor Reform efforts in the early 1870s.

Newspapers archived through the Library of Congress “Chronicling America” website helped inform this body of work. Readers at this site are invited to inform their own views of this fantastically complex, and fascinating, slice of U.S. history.

The tab labeled “JOHN KEHOE,” located above, offers a new, comprehensive bio for Schuylkill County’s AOH delegate.

A. Flaherty