Franklin Gowen, president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, circa 1885.
flipFlip to Molly Maguires marching to their death, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, July 7, 1877.
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Head and shoulders, black and white etching.

Credit: Courtesy of the Hagley Museum and Library

An aggressive opponent of organized labor, Franklin Gowen was president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad from 1869 to the mid-1880s. In the early 1870s Gowen hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to infiltrate the Ancient Order of Hibernians and then misused his influence to insure the trial and execution of 20 so-called “Molly Maguires.” In 1889 he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

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