Hellraisers Journal, Tuesday November 26, 1907
Eugene Debs on Pennsylvania’s “Day of the Rope”
From the Appeal to Reason of November 23, 1907:
BY EUGENE V. DEBS.
Before me lies a copy of the Philadelphia Evening Herald, bearing date of June 21, 1877. On that day the “Mollie Maguires” were executed, six of them-Boyle, McGeghan, Munley, Roarity, Carroll and Duffy-at Pottsville; four of them-Campbell, Doyle, Kelly and Donahue-at Mauch Chunk, and one-Lanahan-at Wilkesbarre. They all protested their innocence and all died game. Not one of them betrayed the slightest evidence of fear or weakening. The issue of the Herald referred to contains a full account of the executions, with portraits of the hapless victims.
Not long ago in the jail at Pottsville I stood on the spot where the six “Mollies” met their doom, and I uncovered in memory of their martyrdom.
Not one of them was a murderer at heart. All were ignorant, rough and uncouth, born of poverty and buffeted by the merciless tides of fate and chance.
To resist the wrongs of which they and their fellow-workers were the victims and to protect themselves against the brutality of their bosses, according to their own crude notions, was the prime object of the organization of the “Mollie Maguires.” Nothing could have been farther from their intention than murder or crime. It is true that their methods were drastic, but it must be remembered that their lot was hard and brutalizing; that they were the neglected children of poverty, the products of a wretched environment.
At the scenes of the execution the tragedy is today, thirty years later, still spoken of in whispers. A vague dread of reviving the fearful past seems to silence the tongue of the resident when the subject is introduced. But bit by bit the truth has slowly and painfully filtered through the dungeon doors of false history, and the world is beginning to understand the true inwardness of the “Mollie Maguire” organization and its real relation to the labor movement.