“The coal regions are infested by a most desperate class of men.” Alarmed corporate leaders and pro-business Americans imagined the Molly Maguires as a vast, well-organized conspiracy. In reality, no such conspiracy existed, and workers were violently divided by ethnic conflict.
“This is your hous.” One of the menacing “coffin notices” that militant workers used to threaten foremen and mine officials.
In “The Mollie Maguires and the Detectives,” Pinkerton used detective fiction to interpret American’s labor conflicts. Organized labor became just another criminal conspiracy for the Agency to crack.