Illustration of a gang of Molly Maguires shooting a victim, from Allan Pinkerton's The Molly Maguires and the Detectives, 1877.
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Illustration shows Molly Maguire victim murdered by gang. Woodcut, 1877.

Credit: Image donated by Corbis-Bettmann

In 1877, Alan Pinkerton published a highly-fictionalized and self-serving account of how his detective agency infiltrated and exposed the "Molly Maguires" in northeastern Pennsylvania. Inaccurate news coverage of Pennsylvania's coal wars, like Pinkerton's book, fed American fears of immigrants and labor organizations.

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