Mollie Maguires: Movie Compari Essay, Research PaperLance FultonMolly Maguires:Movie ComparisonOn October 27, 1873, a adult male naming himself James McKenna emergedfrom a train at the station in Port Clinton, a little community on thesouthern boundary line of Pennsylvania & # 8217 ; s Schuylkill County. It was coal-miningstate, a unsmooth portion of the universe enduring from the effects of what onenewspaper had called a & # 8220 ; reign of panic & # 8221 ; orchestrated by a shadowyorganisation dubbed the Molly Maguires. Since 1862 the Mollies had beenblamed for legion slayings, whippings, knifings, armed robberies, andincidents of incendiarism. The narrative of the Molly Maguires is a good known sectionof the history of industrialisation in the United States. In 1970, SeanConnery starred in a movie called The Molly Maguires, in which he played JackKehoe, the lead Mollie, face-to-face to Richard Harris James McKenna.
Thecomparing between the movie and the existent existent life events will be the subjectof this paper. Whether or non the movie accurately portrays the Mollymaguires as they truly were, though, is non the cardinal involvement here. Ofprimary concern is the ways in which the movie describes the predicament of Irishimmigrants to the coal mines of Pennsylvania ; how accurately does it portraythe narrative behind the Mollies? This terrorist group did non look overnight ;it was created. Therefore, they must hold been created for a ground, andthis is the focal point of the probe.In order to understand the factors that led to the formation of theMolly Maguires, one must understand something about the lives of thepeople that comprised the Mollies: Irish immigrants. This is bestaccomplished by first taking a expression at the grounds for the monolithic figure ofIrish to immigrates to the U.S.
in the 19th century. From 1820 to1920, over four and a one-fourth million Irish immigrants came to the UnitedStates. One cause for this inordinately heavy out-migration, was thechangeless force per unit area of population on the resources of the Emerald Isle, for inIreland the denseness of population was greater than in any other state ofWestern Europe.The dominant industry of Ireland was agribusiness.
It was under thecontrol of an nobility, many of whom were absentee landlords whorented their land to tonss of little husbandmans or cottars ; who, in bend, farmedwith the most antediluvian implements and backward methods. As a consequence,Ireland witnessed a progressive impairment of its agrarian category, from 1815,to well past the center of the century. Taxation, finance, and the tribunals wereunder the control of the landed nobility. The normal pay in Ireland wastanner a twenty-four hours, including one repast ; and eightpence a twenty-four hours without nutrient.
Thenutrient of the provincial, in his happiest and most comfortable times, consisted ofnil more than murphies, a small milk, and on occasion, fish. Meat was soscarce that many households ne’er saw it from one twelvemonth to the following. Thepeasant s hut, in which he normally reared a big brood of kids, wasfilthy, moistness, cold, and smoky. It had but one room to house the wholehousehold ; which, at least in some cases, included the household hog.
1Education, even of the most fundamental kind, was impossible for100s of households. Drinking, and its natural concomitant, rioting,constituted the prevalent expletive of the Irish people. The slums of Dublin wereill-famed for poorness, disease, and crud in the early decennaries of the1 MacManus, Seumas. The Story of the Irish Race: a popular history of Ireland, Rev. ed. , ( Old Greenwich,Conn. : Devin-Adair, 1992, c1966 ) , 87-145.
19th century. If one adds to these straitening conditions, developmentby a foreign power, England ; and the denial of political privileges to thenative Irish ; and the load of paying tithes for the support of a Churchconstitution which Irish Catholics hated, it is obvious why Ireland was afertile recruiting land for immigrants in the 19th century, and whythe immigrant tide to the United States could non be stopped once it hadbegun to flux. 2 Between 1815 and 1830, the more significant husbandmansconstituted the majority of the Irish in-migration to America. After that day of the month, theinundation Gatess were unfastened to all.
The Irish emigre trade truly began in the old ages 1816 and 1817.From 6,000 to 9,000 Irish sailed for America in each of these old ages. In1818, the figure more than doubled. Vessels began to be chartered for thespecific intent of transporting emigres ; although, as a general pattern,vass that had brought American ladings of cotton or lumber to Ireland,departed with human ladings for the return ocean trip. In 1827, the Irishin-migration to America reached 20,000.
By 1831 and 1832, it exceeded65,000. After 1835, with the exclusion of 1838, there were ne’er less than30,000 Irish traversing the Atlantic in any one twelvemonth. In 1842, the sum reached92,000.
32 Ibid. , 147.3 Bimba, Anthony. The Molly Maguires. 1932: International Publishers, 1950.Potato dearths had ever meant catastrophe for a population such asIreland s, which invariably bordered so near on famishment.
There had beendearths before 1845, but that twelvemonth marked the beginning of a sequence ofcold, moist summers ; with the end point murphy putrefaction ; a works disease whichdestroyed practically the whole harvest. Pestilence, febrility, famishment and deceasedescended upon the Irish countryside, and about one 4th of thepopulation succumbed. Relief ships from America provided small assistance. Thefigures for the period of the Irish dearth in-migration mounted to galvanizingsums: 1846= 92,484 ; 1847= 196,224 ; 1848= 173,744 ; 1849= 204,771 ;1850= 206,041. 4The nose count of 1850 reported 961,719 Irish in the United States ; by1860, the sum had reached 1,611,304.5 These were to be found in greatestNumberss in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, and NewJersey. An organisation in Philadelphia, in six months, collected $ 48,000 inhard currency, and $ 20,000 worth of articles ; and sent seven alleviation ships to Ireland.American Protestant churches appealed for assistance for the afflicted Irish.
6 At thesame clip, those interested in advancing in-migration, circulated circulars,and maintained agents in the chief towns of Ireland. Hope inspired thevoyagers across the Atlantic, but for many, it vanished like the rainbow,when the existent conditions of life in America had to be faced. Almost all Irishimmigrants had to get down in the United States as unskilled labour, and mostne’er made it any farther than that.4 MacManus, 150-2.5 Bimba, 98.
6 Ibid. , MacManus.Although 80 % of the immigrating Irish had a background in agriculture,merely 6 % farmed in America. Alternatively, Irish immigrants sought occupations in thecoal mines, where they found the cultural integrity and feeling of community thatthey desired.
English and particularly Welsh mineworkers brought a high degree ofaccomplishment and experience to the mines. Each of these mineworkers was assigned severalunskilled labourers to assist with motion of supplies and delving. Theseunskilled places were the 1s filled by the Irish.7The proprietor of the mine would about ever own the coal spot,including the mineworkers & # 8217 ; places and the shops where they bought theirsupplies. The mineworkers were forced to populate in the company houses and purchasefrom the company shops, where monetary values were at least 20 per centum higherthan in private shops.8 The unskilled mine labourers would, because ofhyperbolic supply costs, complete a wage period in debt to the mine proprietor. Thispattern of blow uping costs and maintaining the mineworkers in debt allowed operatorsto maintain the mineworkers from striking or go forthing to fall in another company.The Irish labourer in the in-between 19th century often foundhimself in troubles because of unblushing development and bad workingconditions, and because of the bitterness harbored against him by indigenAmericans who feared his competition ; although seemingly few Americanshad any wish to make the heavy, dirty, unskilled labour that fell to the batch of the7 Kenny, Kevin.
Making Sense of the Molly Maguires. New York: Oxford UP, 1998, 42.8 Bimba, 98-102.
Irishman with his choice and shovel. Irish stevedores were employed atthe docks in all the taking sea and Lake Ports. They bitterly resented theinvasion of the Negroes, who were frequently brought in expressly to deject thepay graduated table. Riots between Irish and Negro dock workers were noninfrequent.
It is this economic competition that helps to explicate the strongill will of the Irish toward the abolitionist motion, and the New Yorkbill of exchange public violences during the Civil War.9In the 1840 s and 1850 s, small & # 8220 ; Dublins & # 8221 ; sprang up in the milltowns of New England and in the Middle Atlantic provinces, for the Irish wereoccupying the factory centres. The Irish population of Boston tripled in a decennary.Frequently, the factory population was the residue from the labour supply that haddelve the canals, or constructed the millrun. In Rhode Island, for illustration,the first Irish factory workers were recruited from those who had built therailway between Providence and Boston, and the Woonsocket Irish Catholiccolony was due to the building of the Blackstone Canal.
Irishmanswent into the factory towns of Pawtucket and the & # 8220 ; coal pits & # 8221 ; between Fall Riverand Newport.10In add-on to the fiscal and societal jobs confronting all unskilledlabourers, the Irish faced farther troubles due to prejudice. Although theywere great subscribers to the industrialisation of America, the Irish Catholic9 Ibid.10 Coleman, James Walter.
The Molly Maguire Riots: Industrial Conflict in the Pennsylvania Coal Region.Capital of virginia: Garrett & A ; Massie, 1936, 17-25.were treated with contempt by the largely Protestant & # 8220 ; native & # 8221 ; population ofthe country. The Irish were called a & # 8220 ; monolithic ball in the community,undigested, undigestible & # 8221 ; .
Riots often broke out between Protestantsand the Catholic fledglings.Increasingly, it was the Irish in general, non merely the Catholics, whowere persecuted. The Irish received a repute for being drunken andquick to force, and the newspapers of the center of the last century arefull of in writing histories of their bloody conflicts. After reading the manyhistories of brawling and combat among Irish workmans that appear in theAmerican newspapers, one becomes cognizant of the fact that non all the problemwas due to the Irishman s aggressive disposition, his love for the bottle,or his belief that quarrelsomeness is the spice of life. Much of this rioting wasthe consequence of unbearable labour conditions. The bash were frequently attempts,nevertheless misguided and unwise, to accomplish an betterment in labourcriterions at a clip when the labour motion had barely begun. There werework stoppages for higher rewards on internal betterment undertakings, many of whichled to a show of force, peculiarly when contractors subsequently refused toesteem the understandings they had been forced to accept.The Anthracite coal parts of Pennsylvania had a mushroom growing inthe 1830 s, with immigrant labour, hapless lodging installations, and all the immoralities ofcompany towns and company shops as natural accompaniments of this rapidenlargement.
The part suffered from the immoralities of overdevelopment, andfrequent concern slacks, which weighed particularly to a great extent upon the Irishcoal mineworkers. Working conditions in the mines were awful ; with no safetydemands, review, or proper airing. From 1839 to 1848, rewardswere $ 1.00 to $ 1.25 a twenty-four hours for mineworkers, and 82 cents a twenty-four hours for ordinarylabourers. In 1869, a extremum of $ 18.20 a hebdomad was reached, but by 1877, thepay had declined once more to $ 9.80 a hebdomad.
& # 8220 ; Breaker boys & # 8221 ; , aged 7 to 16,worked like slaves in the surfs under mine foremans whose character leftmuch to be desired.11The Irish Catholics were, of class, excluded from benevolentsocieties, so they began to organize organisations of their ain to assistimmigrants adjust to America. These organisations were for the most portion& lt ;< p>populace, since societies necessitating curses of secretiveness were officially forbidden bythe Catholic Church. However, as the persecution grew worse, secretivenessbecame necessary and the one time peaceable societies began to contend back. Theform of violent revenge was excessively much a portion of Irish civilization for anythingelse to hold happened.Irish benevolent societies were formed to cover with some of thesejobs. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, a semi-secret organisation,became the anchor of the mineworkers brotherhoods. In a really long narrative of existent categorywar, the duty for force in the Pennsylvania coal Fieldss seems tobe reasonably good divided.
By 1860, the Mollie Maguires terrorized the wholeAnthracite part ; elected sheriffs and constables, and resorted to arson,blackmail, and murder.12 The organisation was non eventually broken up until1877, when, because of the detective work of James McParlan, 19 werehanged after tests held in an ambiance of great exhilaration and bias.11 Ibid. , Bimba.12 O Dea, John. History of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Auxiliary. 3 vols. Philadelphia:Keystone Printing Co.
, 1923, vol.2, 866-69.The incident, for a long clip, blackened the record of Irish-Americans, andmany refused to see the industrial conditions which had provoked suchcondemnable action. Furthermore, it must be added that the better elementsamong the Irish population denounced the Mollie Maguires, peculiarly theChurch, which threatened the leaders of this organisation withexclusion.The anti-Irish sentiments of the community ensuing from Irishforce made them an easy mark for political critics. In 1857, & # 8220 ; Miners & # 8217 ;Journal & # 8221 ; publisher Bannan accused Irish Catholic organisations of vote inthe 1856 presidential elections as a block. He besides commented on the 55indictments of voting inspectors in Philadelphia.
& # 8220 ; Every one of theseinspectors were Irishmen, belonging no uncertainty to the order of & # 8216 ; MollyMaguires & # 8217 ; & # 8230 ; . & # 8221 ; This publication marked the first clip the easternPennsylvania coal mines saw the term in print. Sleepers and Bird shotswould go alternate names for this alleged organization.13 The MollyMaguires he referred to were surely the Ancient Order of Hibernians, abenevolent association founded by the anomic Irish Catholics.The anti-conscription public violences of 1872 would besides be attributed to theMolly Maguires. The Irish coal mineworkers felt, possibly right, that the CivilWar was a & # 8220 ; rich adult male & # 8217 ; s war and a hapless adult male & # 8217 ; s fight.
& # 8221 ; Adding to their expostulationto the war was the belief that the rich work forces of the North were trusting to conveyBlacks to the coal mines where they would work for lower rewards. Alreadyviing with other immigrants and against bias, it is apprehensible13 Kenny, 88.that the Irish coal mineworkers would non be eager to give their lives for a causethat could merely ache them.
14Benjamin Bannan, the muster officer in Schuylkill County, wasable to register work forces for the bill of exchange without much problem, but when it was clipfor the draftees to go, a rabble of 5,000 work forces formed to halt them andoffered to protect the work forces that did non wish to go forth. President Lincoln wastidal bore to hold the jurisprudence & # 8220 ; at least to look to hold been executed & # 8221 ; , so Bannanforged documents that would do it look as if the county & # 8217 ; s quota had beenfilled by enrollment in other subdivisions of the county. The drafting of military personnelswould once more be halted by mineworkers in 1863, when a federal muster actwas passed. Following lay waste toing public violences in New York City, functionaries wereuneasy about enforcement of the bill of exchange in Schuylkill County. It was reportedthat an ground forces of 2,000 to 3,000 mineworkers, drilled daily, fixing to defy thebill of exchange. This organisation threatened to fire houses and coal mines owned byRepublicans and gave & # 8220 ; prophylactic & # 8221 ; notices to prominent work forces includingBenjamin Bannan. This incident was one of hapless work forces forming as a politicalprotest, and although their methods were in no manner peaceful, and the work forcesshould hold been punished, the public violences were non the work of a secret terroristsociety as Bannan alleged.
15During and after the Civil War the Molly Maguires became a morenormally used term in the & # 8220 ; Miners & # 8217 ; Journal & # 8221 ; to mention to retaliatory offenses bythe Irish. Later on, historiographers would impute 12 or more violent deaths between14 Kenny, 81-4.15 Coleman, 43-5.
1860 and 1862 to the Mollies, but the first violent death that would play a function inthe coming tests took topographic point in June of 1862. A 4th of July jubilation wasbeing planned in Carbon County when Irish mineworker Jack Kehoe tongue on theAmerican Flag. F. W. Langdon, a chief who was responsible for acceptingor rejecting a mineworker s coal, was speedy to trade name the adult male a treasonist. Kehoe washeard to state the words, You son of a bitch, I ll kill you. Subsequently, the minechief was badly beaten and died the following day.
i6 There were no apprehensionsmade at the clip and the slaying would be one of many unresolved instancesattributed to the Molly Maguires. Langdon was murdered, probably by Kehoeand his friends, but it was a simple act of revenge by mineworkers who felt thechief had cheated them.17The violent death of George K. Smith, a mine proprietor reasonably popular with theskilled labourers, would besides be attributed to the Mollies. Smith was a justoperator, but worked the work forces hard.
His aggressors were most likely angeredby the fact that Smith had invited bill of exchange enforcement officers to his place.Work force with blackened faces forced their manner into his place on November 5,1863. There they rapidly ended his life with a shooting to the caput.
Several ofthe alleged aggressors were arrested, but subsequently freed by a rabble. They wouldnon be tried for 14 old ages. With all the force in the country at the clip, it wasunlikely that a proper constabulary probe took topographic point even then.
1816 Ibid. , 40.17 Kenny, 85.18 Ibid. , 85-6.After the Civil War, force in the coal countries rose to even higherrates. The combination of increased anthracite demand and the scarceness oflabour due to war service inflated the coal mineworkers & # 8217 ; rewards to possibly the bestin the state. The decision of the war caused a crisp ruin in demandfor all concerns, and affected the coal mines with lay waste toing force.
Monetary valuesdropped at a arresting rate and mineworkers & # 8217 ; rewards followed suit. Miners who hadbeen let travel during this clip were joined by war veterans returning place.Unemployment and hence force climbed to pre-war levels.19The concern caused by the increased force, particularly against coalexcavation functionaries prompted the constitution of the Coal and Iron Police in1866. Permission for the establishment of this particular constabulary force was grantedby the province legislative assembly with the purpose that the force would protectprivate belongings from hooliganism and sabotage.
The & # 8220 ; police officers & # 8221 ; were hired,paid, and hence wholly controlled by the coal companies. This privateforce would be the 1 that made many of the apprehensions that would take to theMolly Maguire executings. The coal companies were given the power toarrest the work forces that troubled them, and used this power to its fullestextent.20The autumn in coal monetary values confronted the mine proprietors with a really existent deficiencyof financess. The Eagle Colliery attempted to put to death a 10 per centum wage cut but,in January, 1868, the mineworkers struck. The mine proprietors could non afford to19 Ibid. , 96-102.
20 Ibid. , 107-9.allow the other mines to go on working while the Eagle was non inoperation, so the operators were forced to follow with the mineworkers & # 8217 ; wants.The work stoppage itself was non of import, but it led to the formation of theWorkingman & # 8217 ; s Benevolent Association under the leading of John Siney.The new brotherhood was plagued by jobs. The northern mineworkers and southernworkers of the Schuylkill country were viing for concern. Although leadersfrom both countries agreed on paper to back up each other & # 8217 ; s work stoppages, misgivingand personal greed prevented the integrity so desperately needed.
In 1871 thesouthern and northern Fieldss eventually agreed to strike together. The operatorswere unable to transport out any coal and thirstily accepted the mineworkers & # 8217 ; footings.Franklin B.
Gowen, nevertheless, ensured that the mineworkers & # 8217 ; minute of victorywas a short one.21Gowen had been elected Attorney General during the period offorce in the early 1860s. He failed to prosecute many of the offensesbecause the Irish had been major protagonists of the Democratic ballot he waselected on. He retired from political relations in 1864 and became the legal manager ofthe Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, shortly to lift in rank and caput thefull operation.22Gowen tried for many old ages to steal a clause leting his railway topurchase coal lands into unrelated statute law, but the clauses were spottedand stricken by the anti-monopoly senators of the clip. A measure was eventuallypassed to let Gowen to keep the lands but under questionable21 Ibid. , 116-17.22 Ibid.
, 137-49.fortunes. The clause Gowen had placed within the measure was removed ina forenoon ballot by a ballot of 17 to 15. Another ballot was called in theafternoon and three of the senators opposed to the measure were absent whileanother had reversed his ballot. The measure so necessary to Gowen & # 8217 ; s programspassed under conditions that strongly suggest that Gowen worked thismiracle himself, with payoffs. The program succeeded and while the increasedconveyance monetary values devastated mine operators, Gowen bought land at anincredible rate. By 1875, he owned 150 square stat mis of hard coal excavationland, which amounted to 80 per centum of the Schuylkill and 1/3 of the fullcoal field. The Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company was born.
His fright of the Molly Maguires perchance interrupting his coal monopoly spreadto his investors, who were besides powerful in the community.23Franklin Gowen approached detective Allan Pinkerton during October of1873. The Pinkerton Agency was already celebrated for their work towardscapturing criminal in the West. Pinkerton recorded in his journal that Gowentold him: & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; we want people to kip unthreatened, unmolested, in theirbeds, & # 8230 ; we want the laboring-men & # 8230 ; protected in their right to procurenutriment for their married womans and small 1s & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; 24 The records of the AncientOrder of Hibernians, an established Irish secret society, frequently accused ofbeing Molly Maguires, quoted Gowen rather otherwise.I want you to direct a adult male & # 8230 ; to fall in the Mollie Maguires and go itsleader.
& # 8230 ; I want him to precipitate work stoppages & # 8230 ; and do the lives of the23 Ibid.24 Ibid. , 154.mine directors a load.
I want him to take sets against theEnglish, Welsh and German mineworkers and mine foremans, round and killthem off, until the pits will be unable to run for privation of competentmen.25Although neither quotation mark likely records the exact words of Gowen, thelatter records feelings more appropriate to his anterior actions.The Molly Maguires were created out of necessity. It was non theunruly, bibulous Irishmen that created them though, it was people likeGowen and Bannon with their political relations and greed. With the laissez-faireeconomic system that allowed people like Gowen to go boundlessly affluent in theabsence of authorities intercession, came the demand for a societal remedy. Asfar as the movie goes, it was reasonably accurate in its portraiture of the adversitiesthat coal mineworkers endured every twenty-four hours, and it provided a glance of thedictatorial ambiance that plagued 19th century industry.
Althoughthe movie portrayed the Mollies every bit guilty as snake pit, it did carry through the undertaking ofrelaying the message of the remarkably rough lifestyle Irish immigrants wereforced to digest. 26 Even though it did non cover excessively much with the historybehind the formation of the Mollies, it intimated that a distinguishable history wasdecidedly at that place.25 Ibid. , O Drug Enforcement Administration.26 Zaniello, Tom.
Workers, Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds and Riffraff: An organized usher to shoot about labour.Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1996, 165.