History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the Mckinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896 - Vol. 8

By James Ford Rhodes | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II

My relation of the occurrences at Reading and Scranton has taken us amongst the population of the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania. No history of the time can be complete without some reference to the Molly Maguires whose activity caused a profound sensation in the coal region and attracted considerable attention from the rest of the country.

The field of that most useful of domestic fuels, anthracite coal, embraces an area of 472 square miles1 all contained in the counties of Dauphin, Northumberland, Columbia, Schuylkill, Carbon and Luzerne, which had in 1870 a population of 436,437 and produced in 1876 more than twenty million tons of Coal.2 The operations of the Molly Maguires which I shall relate centre in Schuylkill and Carbon counties, north of Reading and south of Scranton. The name and organization of this hide-bound secret order came from Ireland: no one but an Irish Roman Catholic was eligible for membership.3 The authorities differ as to the exact time when the real outrages of the Molly Maguires began and, during the Civil War, there is some confusion between them and

____________________
1
The annual report of Pa. Sec. of Internal Affairs, 1876-1877, pt. iii., Industrial Statistics.
2
Geological Survey. In 1876, 20,351,000; in 1877, 22,910,000. In 1880, the population of these counties was 545,911.
3
"The applicant must be an Irishman or the son of an Irishman". Dewees, 97.

-52-

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History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850 to the Mckinley-Bryan Campaign of 1896 - Vol. 8
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • History of the United States from Hayes to Mckinley 1
  • Chapter II 52
  • Chapter III 88
  • Chapter IV 109
  • Chapter V 128
  • Chapter VI 139
  • Chapter VII 161
  • Chapter VIII 180
  • Chapter IX 197
  • Chapter X 215
  • Chapter XI 240
  • Chapter XII 255
  • Chapter XIII 305
  • Chapter XIV 328
  • Chapter XV 341
  • Chapter XVI 365
  • Chapter XVII 380
  • Chapter XVIII 394
  • Chapter XIX 418
  • Chapter XX 443
  • Index 463
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