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THE NETWORK OF CONSPIRACY…

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THE NETWORK OF CONSPIRACY I II-THE MOLLY MAGUIRES. The first Lodge of the Ancient- Order of Hiber- blanS in Amenca was founded in pw York in 1866 by permission of the Board of Erin. About 1354 they appear to have penetrated to Pennsylvania, where a terrible career of outrage was followed. Finally, in October, 1873, Mr. Gowen the District. Attorney of Schuylkill County appealed to the world-famous detective agency known as "Pinker- ton's" for assistance. He wrote:—"The coal regions are infested by a most desperate class of men. banded Together for the worst purpose,- called, by some, the Buckshots, by others the Molly Maguires,—and they are making sad havoc with the oountry. It IS a "pcret organisation, has its meet- ings in hidden and out-of-the-way places, and its members, I hay,) bt-en convinced ever since my residence in PoUsviHe and my connection with the criminal courts as District Attorney in the county of Schuylkill, are guilty of a majority of all the murders and other deeds of outrage which, for many years, have been committed in the. neighbourhood. 1 wish you to investigate this mysterious Order, find out its interior workings, expose its evil transac- tions, and see if the just laws of the State cannot again be made erfective in bringing criminals to justice. At present, whenever an assassination IS consummated, and. as a consequence, a trial is in- stituted, a. convenient alibi steps forward, and secures for the prisoner his freedom. Municipal Jaws are thus incapable of execution, sheriffs of counties are powerless, and The usual run of detec- tives are of as little value as the open, uniformed police of the different cities. All of these have been rested, and all have failed. Now, if you cannot disperse the murderous crew, or give us grounds upon which to base prosecutions, then I shall be- lieve that it never will be effected. "As far as we can learn, the society is of foreign birth, a nOXlOlB weed whIch has been trînsplanted frolll jb; native soil-that of Ireland-to the Lnited tatPs. some time within the last 20 years. It lived and prospered in the old country considerably earlier. Its supporters there were known a- Ribbonmen, the. White Boys. and sometimes as the Molly Maguires, but their modes of procedure were the same as now pursued in the coal regions. Men were then, as they are at this time, killed—-ome- times in broad daylight, sometimes at night, and InvarIably by SULtngers--pprs()ns at least unknown to chance spectators: and parties violently put but of the way. Suspected individuals would be appre- hended. but in the end nobody could be found able to identify the criminals. It was only after a pro- tracted struggle in Ireland that the proper evi- dence cünld be elicited to convict the tools doing- the bloody behests üf the society. I suppose it will not be easy to do tpis in Pennsylvania. The same minds, the same combinations, are to be encoun- tered here. The Mollies rule our people with a rod of iron. They do this and make no sign. The voice of the fraternity is unheard, but the work is performed. Even the political sentiments of the commonwealth are moulded 1 y them, and in their particular field they elect or defeat whomsoever they may please. They control, in a measure, the finances of 1 J¡ State. Their chiefs direct affairs this way and that, way without hindrance. Men with- out an iota of moral principle, they dictate the principles of otherwise honourable parties. In its ultimate results this complexion of affairs in Pennsylvania touches, to a considerable degree, the interests of the eitizons of the whole country. Wherever anthracite is employed is also felt the grip of this midnight, dark-lantern, muntlerous- minded fraternity. Wherever in the Lnited States iron is wrought, from Maine to Georgia, from ocean to ocean,—wherever hard coal is used for fuel, there the Molly Maguire leaves his slimy trail and wields with deadly affect his two powerful levers—secrecy, combination. "What we want, aud everybody wants, is to get within this apparently impenetrable ring: to turn to the light the hidden side of this dark and cruel I body, to probe to its core this festering sore upon the body politic, which is rapidly gnawing into the vitals and sapning the life of tho community. We want to work our mines in peace, to run our passenger and freight trams without fear of the sudden loss of life and property through the malicious act;- of the Molly Maguires; we want people to sleep unthreatened, unmolested in their beds, undisturbed by horrid ureams of midnight prowlers and cowardly assassins; we want the labouring men. of whatever creeds or nationalities, protected in tneir light to work to secure susten- ance for their wives ana little ones; unavved by out- side influences. We want i he miner to go forth cheerfully to the slope, to the shaft, for labour in the breast or in the gangway, wherever it may seem to him for the best, void of the fear in his heart when he parts Í1"01ll hi" wife at the cottage- gate in the morning, that it may be their last fare- well on earth, and by evening hi" bullet-riddled corpse may be taken back to his home, the only evidence that he has encountered I he murderer— the agent of those who would compel him to re- fuse all employment unless the regulations of the Order were complied with. The State cannot auuiri these things: she has i-ei>eatodIy tried, and tried in vain. You can do it." The great detective agency rose to the occasion and accomplished the task. About 70 Molly Maguires were brought to justice, and 11 were sentenced to death. Of the seventy, 12 were guilty of actual murder, 4 were accessory to it, 16 had conspired to murder, 8 had aided and abetted murder, one had assisted a. murderer's escape, six: were guilty of perjury, one of assault and battery, one of assault with intent to kill. The sentences ran up to a total of close upon 125 years. Of course this takes no account of the scoundrels who were warned and escaped. Crimes of revenge abounded—shootings, burnings, robbery, ill-usage, threatening letters, murders, and sinister disappear- ances of witnesses against the Mollies, no traces being left. The A.O.H., so far as we know, has j never disavowed or reprobated these deeds. 'Out of 6,COO Lodges in says Mr. Dewees, 'and a large organisation in Great Britain, not one word of repudiation of these hellish acts. except by part of Division 2 of Philadelphia. has been uttered.' Seven Roman Catholic priests. before the whole of the horrible story was known, denounced the A.O.H. They said: "The testimony of mem- bers, ex-members, public report, and our experi- ence compel us tobetieyp that the A.O.H. has all the vices of societies nommatiin condemned in Ire- land. Experience has proved that no faith is to be plilcrd in the most solemn promises or denials of the A.O.H. !t is certain that a fear, terror of punish- ment that may in secrecy be decreed in upper circles, compels members to execute commands given hv tne countersign, no matter how repugnant to the laws of God and man those commands may be. Men of notoriously infamous character (the constitution and by-laws to the contrary notwith- standing) have not only been admitted to member- ship, but elected to office, and actually.control the society in many places. Evidence sufficient to con- vince the most sceptical has come to light that works forbidden by the Commandment 'Thou shalt nor kill'. are traceable to tire O. H." This was confirmed by Pmkeiton s chici detec- tive in Court. "You say this constitution and by-laws is the written law" of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.' "Yes. sir. the Written law." "State whether tho constitution .s< ts forth the practice and unwritten law of the A.O.IL.' — It neither sets forth the practice nor the unwritten law, which is the main embodiment of the Order. "They are governed by the unwritten law. and that- is a tnere cover'' —es, sir. The witness identified the Board of Erin wi, h the higher degiee of the Order. (The account we have consulted makes the second question refer to the unwritten law. which is obviously ,nonsensical. The third question shows what was infant). There has been a schism, loth in America and in Ireland, in the A.O.Jri. The president of the larger sect'on in Ireland, which has captured the IT f.L is Joseph Devlin, M.P. The American body has. if the information of Monsignor Charles McC reedy be correct, been captured by the Clan- na-Gael (Irish World. Sept. 22. 1906). Till quite recently the Roman Church in Ireland placed the A.O.H. under a ban, which, we believe, still exists in Scotland. But about five years ago the R.C. Hierarchy of Ireland, meeting at May_ nooth. under Cardinal Logue took off the ban and the Order is now completely in the hands of tne priesthood. We believe this to be for the genera ood. The Order has behaved Itself pretty well for the last 30 vears: and the influence of the Roman elergv should tell against any recrudescence of criminal activity. But it is a question how they can harmonize their consciences in so acting witn the broad rule of Rome wh'ch inculcates loyalty to constituted authority in all places. It. is long since we read Li"-uo: and we cannot imagine how the contradiction is to be reconciled for the aim. of tne v O H are franklv separatist. I he Ameri- can." a paper which indulged in a bivst of un- pemlv langUH- on KIP" Edward's death, records 1 1908. a meetino: of the Annual ( on- vention of the Order at Tndianopohs The tollow- ing resolution was pa —l "We again our unswerving fidelity to the fundamental principles of our Oroer viz. :—The conipW'r independence of Ire- land. We are convinced that, nothing short of comnlete and absolute separation from England can ever hri-i r p^ce and prosperity to Ireland. Toe Devlin is quire of the same kidney. At a demonstration in County Donegal. about 18 -lo-o he said: "One of the arguments against Home Rule in England was that Ireland was disloval. ance!! "The Order will do with watching, as much aSCardinal To^'evidently th-nks so too but ap- rwnlv on social srrounds. suc.n as tempei A«5, «,~wjj.t aim.. Z £ c»n if His Eminence can, as we neuevt? IS will rest rain criminality He » of savin" at Carrickmore that tne state OJ tA irrctoT in that parish was the AO li. 1 he continued, whatever fTTey might be In other parishes, had in this parish and in some other parishes, become a pest, a cruel tyranny, and an organised system of blackguardism. It had been stated that in his Lenten Pastoral he had said hard things of the A.O.H. Then h was not quite cer- tain of the correctness of his information, but now he was certain that in the A.O.H. halls drinking and dancing till the small hours of the morning were carried on. Not alone this, but in Carrickmore and in some other parishes the members of th A.O.H. were not content with being Hibernians themselves, but endeavoured to compel others to join the Order by means of boycotting, threatening, interfering with persons buying and selling, and with tradesmen carrying on their trade, and still more by waylaying and beating persons who did not join, their Society. This state of things he could not tolerate, but would be obliged to take sterner measures: and if the remedy he was now about to apply did not bring these practices to an end, he would, in the discharge of his duties as Bishop, excommunicate the Hibernians throughout his diocese. Some time ago the rules of the Soeictv had K:en submitted to the Bishops of Ireland at ,their general meeting. There was nothiug in tho rules to which anyone (ould object. That, indeed, was one of the greatest dangers of the Society, because the members boasted that they were all good Catholics, and, said his Eminence, they boycotted, threatened, waylaid, and beat their neighbour for the honour of religion. The Bishops, however, had not given any approba- tion to the A.O.H but merely tolerated" the Society in order to see how~ it might turn out. It was feared that it might be nfrrFfy a revival of the old Ktbbonism or ''Molly Maguires, whose principal object had been waylaying and l>eating. His Eminence then concluded by saying that in future he would strictly forbid all priests to give Absolution to anyone who, by boycotting. by threatening, by waylayin" or by any other means should try to compel any person to join the society, rut. at the same time he exhorted parents to keep their children from joining

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