Uriah Smith Stephens, founder of the Knights of Labor, circa 1900.
flipFlip to Terence V. Powderly, circa 1886.
Close Window

Sepia photgraph, head and shoulders of a bearded man, wearing a suit, white shirt, and tie.

Credit: The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives,

Forced by poverty to leave his training for the Baptist ministry, Uriah Stephens (1821-1882) became a tailor in Philadelphia. In 1869 Steffens led the founding of the “Nobler and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor,” a secret organization steeped in ritual and a radical Christian belief in the fraternity of all workers, regardless of race, religion, craft, or gender. Steffens led the Knights of Labor until 1879 when he was succeeded by another Pennsylvanian, Scranton mayor Terence Powderly.

Back to Top