||A new technology for
smelting iron with anthracite coal causes a boom in coal production in
||A potato famine in
Ireland leads to a mass migration of Irish into America's coal towns.
||John ("Black Jack")
Kehoe moves to
Girardville, in western Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
leads to riots around Pottsville in Schuykill County, Pennsylavania
||Eleven mine bosses
involved in labor disputes of one sort or another are killed in
legislation allows the mining companies to form private police forces
with broad authority to make arrests and enforce the law.
||Five more mine
managers or bosses are shot and killed in the coal region.
||Strikes over a wage
cut lead to the formation of The Workingmen's Benevolent Association,
which soon becomes a 30,000 member strong organization.
Alexander Rae is shot and beaten to death by four Mollys.
(Later, a confession by Manus Coll ("Kelly the Bum") leads to the
convictions and executions of Hester, Dooley, and McHugh for the Rae
||An association of
mine operators is formed called The Anthracite Board of Trade.
||111 miners, mostly
Welsh, are killed in the Avondale Mine disaster.
(a/k/a "James McKenna"), a
Pinkerton detective hired by the coal companies, arrives in Port
Clinton to launch an undercover operation that will eventually lead to
numerous arrests and convictions of Mollies.
||James McParlan is
initiated to the Ancient Order of Hiberians, a fraternal cover
organization for the Molly Maguires.
||Two supporters of a
priest opposed to the Mollies are killed by unknown assailants.
||Beginning of "the
Long Strike," involving about 10,000 miners, over a decision by miner
operators to reduce wages by 10 to 20%.
Frederick Hesser is murdered while working.
||AOH and union
leader Edward Coyle is killed.
||Under heavy pressure
from mining companies, Governor John Hartranft orders 1,800 members of
the state militia to the coal region to help put an end to the Long
a revenge attack ordered by Jack Kehoe, three Mollys shoot "Bully
Bill" Thomas and leave him for dead, though Thomas survives.
had advance knowledge of the attack, but is unable to warn the victim
(for fear of blowing his cover).
Benjamin Yost is shot and killed as he extinguishes a street light in
Tamaqua. (With information provided by McParlan, five
Mollies--McGehan, Duffy, Roarity, Carl, and James Doyle--would
eventually be tried, convicted and executed for the murder of Yost.)
||Justice of the peace
Thomas Guyther and bartender Gomer James are murdered by Mollys. (The
next year, when Thomas Hurley is arrested in Colorado for the murder of
James, he commits suicide rather than face trial.)
||Thomas Sanger, mine
foreman, and miner William Uren (a potential witness to the murder of
Sanger) are shot as the walked on an empty street.
John P. Jones, accused of blacklisting striking miners, is shot in the
back while walking along a pipeline in Carbon County.
||McParlan is ordered
by Molly leaders to go to Tamaqua to intimidate potential witnesses to
the Jones murder, but instead warns the witnesses of their potential
||A group of masked
men break into a home in Wiggans Patch and murder Charles O'Donnell
(suspected in the murders of Sanger and Uren) and wound Charles
McAllister, another suspect. McAllister's wife is also killed in
the attack. News of the murders cause McParlan to tender his
resignation, but he later reconsiders and continues his undercover work.
||The first of the
Molly trials, the trial of Michael J. Doyle for the murder of attorney
James Jones, opens in Mauch Chunk (now renamed Jim Thorpe).
||Michael Doyle is
convicted of first-degree murder.
||Based on a 210-page
confession by "Powderkeg" Kerrigan (which identifies members of the
Mollys, including the men responsible for the murder of Benjamin Yost)
murder warrants are issued for the arrests of 17 Mollys.
|February 16, 1876||McParlan first
learns that he is suspected by some Mollies of being an informant.
||Learning that John
Kehoe planned to have him killed, McParlan boards a train for
||Edward Kelly is
tried and convicted for the murder of John P. Jones.
|May 6, 1876
testifies for the prosecution in the Pottsville trial of James Carroll,
Thomas Duffy, James Roarity, Hugh McGehan, and James Boyle for the
murder of Benjamin Yost.
||The trial of Jack
Kehoe and eight others for the attempted murder of William Thomas
||The jury returns
guilty verdicts against all nine defendants in the case of Commonwealth v Kehoe and Others.
The verdict is the most important blow against the Mollys.
Kehoe is convicted for first-degreee of mine foreman Frank Langdon in
||The trial of Patrick
Hester, Peter McHugh, and Patrick Tully for the murder of Alexander
Rea. All three defendants are convicted and sentenced to death.
||On "Black Thursday,"
ten Mollys are hanged, four (Campbell, Michael Doyle, Donahue, Kelly)
in Mauch Chunk for the killing of John Jones and six in Pottsville for
the murders of Yost (Boyle, Carroll, Duffy, McGehan, Roarity) and
Sanger and Uren (Munley).
Hester, Peter McHugh and Patrick Tully are hanged in Bloomsburg.
||Molly Maguire member
Thomas Fischer is hanged in Mauch Chunk.
||Dennis Donnelly is
hanged at Pottsville for the murders of Sanger and Uren.
||The Pardon Board
refuses to reopen the case of Jack Kehoe.
||Jack Kehoe is hanged
||Mollies James McDonnell and Charles Sharp are hanged in Mauch Chunk for the murder of George Smith.|
||Martin Bergin, the
nineteenth Molly to be executed, is hanged in Pottsville for the murder
of Patrick Burns.