The Molly Maguires

Ulysses Simpson Grant

Summary and Definition of the Molly Maguires
Definition and Summary: The Molly Maguires, were a secret society of Irish and Irish- American coal miners based in the Pennsylvania coal region. The Molly Maguires sought fair treatment and safer working conditions which led to a bitter dispute with the coal companies called the 'Long Strike of 1875'.
The unusual name of this militant, secret society came from a feisty Irish woman, Molly Maguire, who led violent Anti-landlord Agitators in Ireland during the 1840s. On June 21, 1877, 20 members of the Molly Maguires were unjustly hanged for murder, and later received posthumous pardons.

The Molly Maguires for kids
Ulysses Grant was the 18th American President who served in office from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877. One of the important events during his presidency was the Molly Maguires.


The Molly Maguires Facts for kids
Interesting facts about the Molly Maguires are detailed below. The history of Molly Maguires is told in a factual sequence consisting of a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the history and events of the Molly Maguires.

Molly Maguires Fact Sheet:  Facts for kids

Molly Maguires Fact 1: The original Molly Maguire was a legendary Irish woman who led protesters against tyrannical English landlords who attempted to steal their homes and lands.

Molly Maguires Fact 2: The first 'Mollies' were renown for bloody bare knuckle fights with their oppressors. The secret society of Irish and Irish-American coal miners proudly adopted the name for their own secret society.

Molly Maguires Fact 3: The Mollies emerged during the economic depression known as the Panic of 1873 that lasted for six years and lead to financial hardship, destitution civil unrest, demonstrations and the first nationwide strikes.

Molly Maguires Fact 4: Over one million Irish immigrants fled the devastation of the 1845 Irish Potato Famine to seek a new life in the United States. The men took work where they could get it many on the railroads and others in the coal mines of Pennsylvania.

Molly Maguires Fact 5: The biggest the coal mines were located in Carbon, Schuylkill, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Columbia, Northumberland and Lehigh Counties of Pennsylvania. The Irish were faced with harsh treatment and discrimination. Work in the coalmines was extremely dangerous and the working conditions were appalling. 

Molly Maguires Fact 6: The Workingmen’s Benevolent Association (WBA) was established in 1864 to improve working conditions in the mining industry. However, the organizers of the WBA were also prejudice against the Irish who formed their own union to protect the Irish workers.

Molly Maguires Fact 7: The Irish group was known as the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH). Only Irishmen or American-Irish of Irish descent were permitted to join the AOH society.

Molly Maguires Fact 8: The Molly Maguires were a secret 'spin-off' organization of the AOH. Only trusted AOH members would be inducted into the Mollies. The identity of members of the Mollies were kept secret as they were militant and would resort to intimidation or violent action if necessary.

Molly Maguires Fact 9: The working conditions lacked safety precautions and miners were subjected to constant hazards. Both injuries and deaths were frequent occurrences.   Their working lives were a constant bitter struggle to survive.

Molly Maguires Fact 10: Child Labor: Not only were the working conditions terrible but the coal companies also used child labor. The children of the Irish miners started work at the age of just seven years old and worked for a wage of $1-$3 dollars per week until they were 16 years old.


Molly Maguires Facts for kids

Molly Maguires
The info about the Molly Maguires provides interesting facts and important information about this important event that occured during the presidency of the 18th President of the United States of America.

Molly Maguires Facts for kids
Interesting history and the Molly Maguires Facts for kids are continued below.

Molly Maguires Facts for kids

Molly Maguires Fact 11: The Molllies protested and the coal companies started to recruit other immigrants to replace the Irish. This sparked the 'Long Strike of 1875'.

Molly Maguires Fact 12: Franklin B. Gowen (the president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, and the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company) hired the services of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency to deal with the Mollies and their strike action.

Molly Maguires Fact 13: Pinkerton selected James McParland an Irishman from County Armagh, to go undercover against the Mollies.

Molly Maguires Fact 14: James McParland used the alias of "James McKenna" and succeeded in infiltrating the Mollies.

Molly Maguires Fact 15: James McParland worked with the Coal and Iron Police (nicknamed the "Pennsylvania Cossacks"), a private police force established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly that was employed, and paid for, by the coal companies.

Molly Maguires Fact 16: Information from James McParland led to the arrest of 60 Mollies in 1875. The arrests ended the strike, however the Coal Companies wanted an example to be made and the men were put on trial.

Molly Maguires Fact 17: Individual trials were held from 1875 to 1877 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania related to alleged crimes committed by the Mollies. No evidence was given to link the accused to the Molly Maguires, indeed there was no evidence given to prove that such a secret society even existed.

Molly Maguires Fact 18: 20 men were sentenced to hang to death. The trials attracted hostile newspaper coverage towards the Irish. Public outcry against the Irish was so strong that they were excommunicated from the Catholic church and denied a Christian burial. The media branded the Irish Mollies as ruthless murderers and  stated that it was common practice for the Mollies to commit "floggings, lynchings and tar-and-feathers".

Molly Maguires Fact 19: Twenty men were hanged in Carbon and Schuylkill county prisons for first degree murder on June 21, 1877, based on the dubious testimony of James McParland and the "Pennsylvania Cossacks"

Molly Maguires Fact 20: The hangings of the Mollies have since been recognized as unjustified. The mollies are revered as Irish heroes. The 1970 movie called the 'Molly Maguires' was directed by Martin Ritt and starred Richard Harris and Sean Connery.

Molly Maguires Facts for kids

Molly Maguires: Rise of Big Business and Corporations
For additional facts and info refer to the Rise of Big Business and Corporations involving the monopolies and trusts. Learn about the wealthy industrialists referred to as the Robber Barons and the Captains of Industry and discover the Industrialization in America that led to Riots, Strikes and Unions. For addition facts refer to the article on the Labor Unions History.

Molly Maguires - President Ulysses Grant Video
The article on the Molly Maguires provides an overview of one of the Important issues of his presidential term in office. The following Ulysses Grant video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 18th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877.

Molly Maguires -  Economic Depression

● Interesting Facts about the Molly Maguires for kids and schools
● Definition of the Molly Maguires in US history
● Facts about the Molly Maguires
● Ulysses Grant Presidency from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877
● Fast, fun, facts on Molly Maguires, an Important events in his presidency
● Foreign & Domestic policies of President Ulysses Grant
● Ulysses Grant Presidency and the Molly Maguires for schools, homework, kids and children

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