The Old Carbon County Jail - Jim Thorpe, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member akern.geo
N 40° 51.818 W 075° 44.788
18T E 437091 N 4523887
Quick Description: The Carbon County Jail, built in 1870, may now be best known for the group of Irish coal miners, known as the Molly Maguires, who were held and then hanged here, convicted of the murder of mine officials during labor organization unrest.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 9/2/2009 8:15:13 AM
Waymark Code: WM74X3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
Views: 9

Long Description:
The Carbon County Jail, built in 1870, became a center of attention in 1875 when a group of Irish coal miners were held and then hanged, convicted of the murder of some mine officials. Irish immigrants at the time were subject to economic and social discrimination and the town of Mauch Chunk, now known as Jim Thorpe, became a hotbed of unrest against the wealthy mine owners and railroad men. Most of the miners turned to fraternal and labor organizations to work for better conditions, but a small number took to violent action. This group was called the Molly Maguires after a notable Irish widow who led anti-landlord protests in their former homeland. During the 1860's and 1870's, 16 men were assassinated in their violent campaign.
The mining interests hired James McParlan of the famed Pinkerton detective agency to gather evidence and as a result of his investigation many suspect Molly Maguires were arrested. Sensational trials were held in Pottsville and Mauch Chunk that led to convictions. Twenty men were executed and 19 received prison sentences. Seven of these convicted men were hanged here in the Carbon County Jail.
The trials were known to have been patently unfair -- Irish Catholics could not serve on juries, the prosecutors worked for the coal mines and railroads, and some jury members could not speak English. The incendiary press coverage added to the sensationalism. Innocent men may have been convicted. The Molly Maguires were crushed but their name and reputation became linked with and set back the organized mine labor movement for many years.

Tours are available. Check the museum website for schedule and fees.
Museum website: (visit link)

** On his way to the gallows, one of the convicted Molly Maguires, Alexander Campbell, said, "I am innocent, I was nowhere near the scene of the crime." Then he pressed his hand into the dirt floor and slapped his hand against the wall of his cell, and continued, "There is proof of my words. That mark of mine will never be wiped out. It will remain forever to shame the county for hanging an innocent man."
The handprint in the basement Cell 17 can be seen to this day despite multiple attmepts at removal by cleaning and over-painting. **

Website with background information about this Waymark: [Web Link]

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