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IRTRAD-L  March 2009

IRTRAD-L March 2009

Subject:

Re: The Molly Maguire Show Trials

From:

Hal Smith <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Irish Traditional Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 12 Mar 2009 03:40:41 +0000

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (262 lines) , C:Documents and SettingsOwnerDesktopMollies file of 3 6 09Harrisburg Mollies filesHarrisburg 2218 text file.txt (77 lines)

Hello and Happy St Patrick's Day

I noticed that my text of the Molly Maguire trials didn't come out clearly, so I 
am sending it again below and as an attachment.

Hal


130th Anniversary of Hanging of accused Mollie Maguires Patrick Hester, Peter 
McHugh, and Patrick Tully

From Dauphin County in the south to Susquehanna County in the north, 
Pennsylvania's 19 th century anthracite miners dug coal 12 hours/day. 
Companies paid under $2/day and made them dig dangerously into tunnel 
supports of coal, which Governor Geary called a "reprehensible practice." 
Companies ignored inspectors' safety warnings. Accidents killed 211 
Pennsylvania anthracite miners in 1870.

In 1871 Judge Elwell decided unions couldn&#8216;t picket companies for firing 
workers. So from 1871-1875 the "Molly Maguire" gang burned 10 Mount Carmel 
and Locust Gap mines.

In 1866 Reading Railroad attorney Frank Gowen persuaded Pennsylvania's 
Supreme Court to give the railroad a vital rail system. Gowen became company 
president, fixed shipping prices, bought competitors, and acquired the world's 
most anthracite coal by manipulating legislators to change its charter.

Gowen blamed Mollies' sabotage on the "Ancient Order of Hibernians," which 
paid accident benefits because companies didn't. Mt.Carmel and Locust Gap 
AOH president Patrick Hester procured the AOH's 1871 state charter. Miners, 
mostly Irish, elected Hester tax assessor to tax companies.

In 1876, Manus Kull AKA "Daniel Kelly", serving 3 years' solitary confinement for 
an 1874 Schuylkill County burglary among countless robberies, told railroad 
police he, Hester, AOH County Delegate Peter McHugh, unionist Patrick Tully, 
and 6 others planned mine boss Alexander Rea's deadly Columbia County 
robbery. Kull was never prosecuted for Rea's murder. Governor Hartranft and 
Commonwealth Secretary Matthew "Boss" Quay pardoned him to testify.

Railroad police arrested Hester, McHugh, and Tully. In 12 months before the 
trial, the Reading.R.R. supervised 40 Mollies' sensationalized convictions. 
Bloomsburg's Judge Elwell allowed a jury without Irish Catholics or coal miners. 
Harrisburg State Archives' unpublished trial transcript reveals: all jurors knew 
of the case beforehand. 2 admitted they had an opinion on the defendants' 
guilt.

Pennsylvania Constitution.Article.4 states: "no pardon shall be 
granted...except... after full hearing, upon due public notice and in open 
session." Subpoenaed papers showed the Pardon Board didn't meet January 
2d, 1877, the regularly scheduled meeting date when Kull announced he'd 
apply. The Board didn't announce the real date it discussed Kull's pardon, and 
that Schuylkill County Judge Pershing didn't give an unqualified 
recommendation to pardon Kull. Kull's pardon didn't fully restate the penalty to 
be repealed, including returning stolen property. Hester's lawyers claimed Kull's 
pardon was void and Kull shouldn't testify.

Elwell decided that Kull's pardon was valid unless prosecutors challenged it. 
Kull testified he met the defendants at Barney Dolan's bar in Big Mine Run. Kull 
testified they went to Ashland next and Hester said Rea would carry $18,000 
that Saturday and lent him a gun. Kull said Hester wasn't at the murder and 
they didn't discuss killing Rea. He said he, McHugh, and Tully drank whisky and 
robbed Rea. But trigger-happy Kull "couldn't remember"  if he or Tully shot Rea 
first. The first 2 shots made Rea turn and run, so they killed him. Rea carried 
$60. They dealt Kull an extra share of the loot and Hester none.

Actually, Hester probably didn't plan it, because he traveled between 
companies collecting taxes, and knew Rea only delivered wages Fridays. Rea 
was shot in the front four times, not twice. Kull couldn't remember anyone 
seeing him in Ashland. Kull had perjured twice before: he immigrated in 1865, 
but swore in 1868 that he knew Mr. Boyer of Northumberland County for 5 
years and knew McHugh to be a Northumberland County resident for 5 years.

Nothing else directly implicated the defendants. There was circumstantial 
evidence of (1)Hester's AOH membership, (2)visit to neighboring towns during 
Rea&#8216;s murder, and (3)Hester's brief departure to Illinois a month after the 
murder when he and Ashland bar owner Tom Donahue were charged with it. 
Donahue was acquitted for lack of evidence, and Hester was released untried. 
Railroad policeman Parr testified Hester visited Donahue's cell to say he 
regretted doing it. But Bloomsburg's warden testified they always stayed in 
separate cells. For evidence to be "corroborating," it must prove guilt. 

The Reading's paid prosecutor ranted 9 hours against Molly "terrorism." Judge 
Elwell explained Pennsylvania's "Absent Accomplice Felony Murder Rule," which 
disregards premeditation: planners of unintentionally deadly robberies are 
guilty of first degree murder. Jurors convicted the prisoners in under 2 hours. 
The defendants appealed.

In July 1877, the National Guard crushed Pittsburgh's train strike and shot 49 
civilians. An Allegheny Grand Jury charged Quay with attesting and forging 
Hartranft's signature on the order because Hartranft was beyond telegraph 
communication in Wyoming. But Quay wouldn't appear. Pennsylvania's 
Supreme Court made Allegheny County pay $2,772,350 for not crushing the 
strike itself. 

That October the prisoners objected to Pennsylvania's Supreme Court that 
Kull's pardon was unconstitutional. Newspapers had announced:

An application will be made on Tuesday, the 2d day of January 1877, to the 
Board of Pardons, for the Pardon of Daniel Kelly, convicted of the crime of 
larceny and sentenced to serve out a term of imprisonment in the Schuylkill 
County Prisonn.

(GO TO THIS WEBSITE TO SEE THE DOCUMENT) 
http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/6107/putafterthewordsnewspapvn7.png

But Kull's archived Pardon file states:

But Kull's archived Pardon file states:
Application filed January 1 1877.
January 3 1877. Heard, considered and pardon recommended upon receipt of 
favorable letter from Judge Pershing.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Warren Woodward, previously a Reading 
city judge, overruled their objections: "Upon irregularities and omissions of 
form such as these, it was proposed that [County] judges... should... annul 
the deliberate action of the governor taken in the execution of a 
constitutional power expressly conferred.š There was no allegation that the 
pardon was obtained by fraud or fraudulent pretense." Paraphrased: the 
Constitution allowed the governor to pardon Kull, so Columbia County judges 
couldn't void Kull's unconstitutionally enacted pardon.

Actually, there was fraudulent pretence because Judge Pershing wrote his 
recommendation on January 4th.

Next, Hester's wife and a priest collected over 2500 signatures petitioning 
Quay's Pardon Board for the defendants. Bloomsburg's sheriff collected a 
petition requesting the Board to follow tradition and pardon one in "a crowd of 
criminals." Had all 10 suspects been arrested, Hester probably wouldn't have 
hanged. But the railroad's publicized Mollies "wanted" list missed the remaining 
6.

On March 5, 1878 a large crowd joined Hester's lawyers and family in Quay's 
Harrisburg office to appeal to the Board of Pardons. They argued 
the "conviction was due to the uncorroborated evidence of an accomplice,  
who had not only been guilty of murder, but every other crime on the 
calendar." Barney Dolan swore an affidavit that the defendants weren't at his 
bar as Kull claimed, but was too afraid of railroad police framing him to testify 
at the trial. Patrick Burke swore an affidavit he rode a train with Hester 
between Big Mine Run and Mahanoy Plane when the murder was supposedly 
planned in Ashland. Schuylkill County Lawyer M.M.Lavelle sent a letter saying 
Donahue was the real murderer. Defense lawyer Colonel Freeze argued 
reasonable doubt of guilt remained. Quay interrupted Freeze's speech to 
ask: "Is this an application for a pardon or a commutation" from execution to 
imprisonment?
[Quay portrayed : http://post-gazette.com/pg/04336/419628-57.stm]

The Shenandoah Evening Herald reported: "Freeze answered that the petitions 
asked for a pardon, when it was apparent that the Board were rather 
astonished at the request, and the speaker noticing the expression in their 
faces quickly added: &#8216;While a pardon is asked for all interested will be satisfied 
with a commutation if your Honors think it best.'" Hester's wife and daughter 
cried as Freeze mentioned books against Mollies published to prejudice the 
population, illustrating Hester shooting Rea, which their text didn't say.

Ex-District Attorney Clark, voted out since his participation in the prosecution, 
claimed Judge Elwell ruled in every possible point in favor of the defendants. 
Clark complained that "nine-tenths of the names are of the same nationality 
as the defendants. Some of the parties who signed the petition told me they 
would not have signed it if they thought the petition would do a particle of 
good." Actually, a 2500-strong petition probably would do a "particle of good," 
so it's more likely they felt intimidated when Clark questioned them, and didn't 
want trouble for supporting Mollies.

Defense attorney Wolverton said Hester made enemies as tax collector. "The 
coal operators never liked Hester, and up to the present day they have been 
trying to get him out of the way&#8230; During the trial we labored under serious 
disadvantages, as we had no money to bring witnesses to Bloomsburg. The 
other side had special cars and all the money they wanted&#8230; The newspapers 
created so much excitement just before the trials that it was almost 
impossible to get a jury that was not posted on all the details connected with 
the murder." The Board announced it would decide March 14.  The Herald 
reported the general opinion at the State building and among men 
of "considerable influence" was that mercy wouldn't be shown.

Railroad police guarding Bloomsburg's jail tried to make Tully confess since 
January. On March 12 they told Tully's lawyer to visit him. But Tully restated 
he wouldn't make a statement until the Board's decision. Tully told railroad 
policeman Boughner Hester refused to escape because he had a good chance 
at a pardon.

On March 14, Quay was absent from the Board without explanation. On March 
18,  Tully gave an unsigned confession implicating the defendants to railroad 
police. Naturally, they would've telegrammed it to their superiors, who would 
telegram the Board. The next day, the Board denied their petition. In tears 
Tully supposedly gave another confession to the lawyer. It stated he didn't 
confess earlier because he stayed with the others. Actually, Tully was isolated 
since January. Tully's widow stated if he confessed, "it was forced on him or 
just made up by some policeman."

"Mrs. Hester was moved to tears." Because the Board's decision came 5 days 
before the execution, she and a delegation asked for a delay, saying: "these 
men need more time to prepare for death." It was denied. Sheriff Hoffman 
received a telegram: "The Board of Pardons refuses to interfere with the 
decision of the Courts." The Herald commented: "Had the Board of Pardons 
been disposed for political or other considerations, excepting alone point blank 
evidence of their innocence, they would not have dared to interfere."

The New York Times reported Quay was "not a man who easily forgives his 
enemies." "Boss" Quay's political machine supported Grant over Greeley for 
president, and the "Miners' Journal" described Hester as a "Leading Greeley 
Man." But when RNC member William Kemble was convicted of bribing 
legislators to pay railroads $4,000,000 for strike damage, Quay immediately 
convened the Board and pardoned Kemble. Kemble told a legislative hearing 
bribery was "common aid," and "I know the Constitution has got a lot of stuff 
in it that none of you live up to." Quay violated the constitution to pardon 
Kull, but wouldn't follow tradition to pardon Hester.

On March 25, 1878, 30 railroad police guarded Bloomsburg's jail. The prisoners 
had mass, communion, and prayed for hours. Hester comforted his wife and 4 
daughters whose shrieks penetrated jail walls. An Illinois miner read Hester's 
story and telegrammed Quay a sworn affidavit that Kull told him in Girardville in 
1871: "Hester was asked by the group to help and he said he wanted that 
thing stopped." It wasn't forwarded to Bloomsburg in time.

Before the gallows, Hester requested 20 minutes to wait for a reprieve from 
Harrisburg. Denied. Tully, McHugh, and Hester each held a cross in front of his 
eyes, kissed it, forgave his enemies, and asked forgiveness of all his sins.  
Hester threw his chest forward, head back, and said "I did not plot the murder 
of Rea." Railroad police strapped their legs. The "Standard Drop" to break 
necks was 5". Railroad police had experience elsewhere. But Hester dropped 
only 3'3" and their necks didn't break. Horrified spectators turned away as 
Hester breathed heavily, convulsing. Three hearts took 9-12 minutes to stop. 

The 3 Mollies did not deserve execution even if their conviction was correct 
because desperate poverty drove them to rob, they didn't plan to shoot Rea, 
whisky lowered their premeditation, Kull likely shot first and made Rea run, if 
guilty the prisoners were sincerely repentant, and one man's quick shooting 
did not match the severity of 3 men's imprisonment and slow public 
strangulation.

In 1898 Quay was charged with speculating $1,000,000 from the state 
treasury. The bank and stocks failed, and the bank cashier shot himself. 
Quay's telegram addressed to the cashier was discovered saying: "If you will 
buy and carry 1,000 Met(ropolitan Railroad) for me I will shake the plum tree." 
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court acquitted Quay. A decade later Governor 
Pennypacker vetoed a $2,000 statue of Governor Geary for Harrisburg's 
rotunda, and instead placed a $20,000 marble statue of Quay under the 
words "My God Will Make it the Seed of a Nation." Clifton Johnson's tourist 
book "What to See in America" says this semi-altar indicates this "politician of 
pernicious type... as the state's patron saint..." When "lights are burning there 
are curious reflections on the marble behind him that surround his head with a 
halo."

In 1979 Governor Shapp posthumously pardoned Girardville AOH president Jack 
Kehoe. In 2005, Pennsylvania's House passed Noncontroversial Resolution 
No.527 introduced by Perzel(Speaker-R) and Dewese(Majority Leader-D). In 
2006 Pennsylvania's Senate passed a matching resolution:

WHEREAS alleged Molly Maguires in Columbia County were tried and hanged; 
employees of the Reading Railroad investigated, arrested, and prosecuted 
them; judges were connected with companies instigating the trial; to say 
constitutional rights lacked in the trial would be an understatement; As a 
result Patrick Hester, Peter McHugh, and Patrick Tully hanged in 1878; 
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize the lack of Due 
Process in the trial. RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives memorialize 
the Honorable Edward C. Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth to issue an 
order acknowledging the same.

The House Labor Committee is introducing Resolution 629 to notify Rendell 
again. Hester, McHugh, and Tully still await a governor's acknowledgement.



130 th Anniversary of Hanging of accused Mollie Maguires Patrick Hester, Peter McHugh, and Patrick Tully From Dauphin County in the south to Susquehanna County in the north, Pennsylvania’s 19 th century anthracite miners dug coal 12 hours/day. Companies paid under $2/day and made them dig dangerously into tunnel supports of coal, which Governor Geary called a “reprehensible practice.” Companies ignored inspectors’ safety warnings. Accidents killed 211 Pennsylvania anthracite miners in 1870. In 1871 Judge Elwell decided unions couldn‘t picket companies for firing workers. So from 1871-1875 the “Molly Maguire” gang burned 10 Mount Carmel and Locust Gap mines. In 1866 Reading Railroad attorney Frank Gowen persuaded Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court to give the railroad a vital rail system. Gowen became company president, fixed shipping prices, bought competitors, and acquired the world’s most anthracite coal by manipulating legislators to change its charter. Gowen blamed Mollies’ sabotage on the “Ancient Order of Hibernians,” which paid accident benefits because companies didn’t. Mt.Carmel and Locust Gap AOH president Patrick Hester procured the AOH’s 1871 state charter. Miners, mostly Irish, elected Hester tax assessor to tax companies. In 1876, Manus Kull AKA “Daniel Kelly”, serving 3 years’ solitary confinement for an 1874 Schuylkill County burglary among countless robberies, told railroad police he, Hester, AOH County Delegate Peter McHugh, unionist Patrick Tully, and 6 others planned mine boss Alexander Rea’s deadly Columbia County robbery. Kull was never prosecuted for Rea’s murder. Governor Hartranft and Commonwealth Secretary Matthew “Boss” Quay pardoned him to testify. Railroad police arrested Hester, McHugh, and Tully. In 12 months before the trial, the Reading.R.R. supervised 40 Mollies’ sensationalized convictions. Bloomsburg’s Judge Elwell allowed a jury without Irish Catholics or coal miners. Harrisburg State Archives’ unpublished trial transcript reveals: all jurors knew of the case beforehand. 2 admitted they had an opinion on the defendants’ guilt. Pennsylvania Constitution.Article.4 states: "no pardon shall be granted...except... after full hearing, upon due public notice and in open session." Subpoenaed papers showed the Pardon Board didn’t meet January 2d, 1877, the regularly scheduled meeting date when Kull announced he'd apply. The Board didn’t announce the real date it discussed Kull’s pardon, and that Schuylkill County Judge Pershing didn’t give an unqualified recommendation to pardon Kull. Kull’s pardon didn’t fully restate the penalty to be repealed, including returning stolen property. Hester’s lawyers claimed Kull’s pardon was void and Kull shouldn’t testify. Elwell decided that Kull’s pardon was valid unless prosecutors challenged it. Kull testified he met the defendants at Barney Dolan’s bar in Big Mine Run. Kull testified they went to Ashland next and Hester said Rea would carry $18,000 that Saturday and lent him a gun. Kull said Hester wasn’t at the murder and they didn’t discuss killing Rea. He said he, McHugh, and Tully drank whisky and robbed Rea. But trigger-happy Kull “couldn’t remember” if he or Tully shot Rea first. The first 2 shots made Rea turn and run, so they killed him. Rea carried $60. They dealt Kull an extra share of the loot and Hester none. Actually, Hester probably didn’t plan it, because he traveled between companies collecting taxes, and knew Rea only delivered wages Fridays. Rea was shot in the front four times, not twice. Kull couldn’t remember anyone seeing him in Ashland. Kull had perjured twice before: he immigrated in 1865, but swore in 1868 that he knew Mr. Boyer of Northumberland County for 5 years and knew McHugh to be a Northumberland County resident for 5 years. Nothing else directly implicated the defendants. There was circumstantial evidence of (1)Hester’s AOH membership, (2)visit to neighboring towns during Rea‘s murder, and (3)Hester’s brief departure to Illinois a month after the murder when he and Ashland bar owner Tom Donahue were charged with it. Donahue was acquitted for lack of evidence, and Hester was released untried. Railroad policeman Parr testified Hester visited Donahue’s cell to say he regretted doing it. But Bloomsburg’s warden testified they always stayed in separate cells. For evidence to be “corroborating,” it must prove guilt. The Reading’s paid prosecutor ranted 9 hours against Molly “terrorism.” Judge Elwell explained Pennsylvania’s “Absent Accomplice Felony Murder Rule,” which disregards premeditation: planners of unintentionally deadly robberies are guilty of first degree murder. Jurors convicted the prisoners in under 2 hours. The defendants appealed. In July 1877, the National Guard crushed Pittsburgh’s train strike and shot 49 civilians. An Allegheny Grand Jury charged Quay with attesting and forging Hartranft's signature on the order because Hartranft was beyond telegraph communication in Wyoming. But Quay wouldn’t appear. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court made Allegheny County pay $2,772,350 for not crushing the strike itself. That October the prisoners objected to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court that Kull’s pardon was unconstitutional. Newspapers had announced: An application will be made on Tuesday, the 2d day of January 1877, to the Board of Pardons, for the Pardon of Daniel Kelly, convicted of the crime of larceny and sentenced to serve out a term of imprisonment in the Schuylkill County Prisonn. (GO TO THIS WEBSITE TO SEE THE DOCUMENT) http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/6107/putafterthewordsnewspapvn7.png But Kull’s archived Pardon file states: But Kull’s archived Pardon file states: Application filed January 1 1877. January 3 1877. Heard, considered and pardon recommended upon receipt of favorable letter from Judge Pershing. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Warren Woodward, previously a Reading city judge, overruled their objections: "Upon irregularities and omissions of form such as these, it was proposed that [County] judges... should... annul the deliberate action of the governor taken in the execution of a constitutional power expressly conferred.  There was no allegation that the pardon was obtained by fraud or fraudulent pretense." Paraphrased: the Constitution allowed the governor to pardon Kull, so Columbia County judges couldn’t void Kull’s unconstitutionally enacted pardon. Actually, there was fraudulent pretence because Judge Pershing wrote his recommendation on January 4th. Next, Hester’s wife and a priest collected over 2500 signatures petitioning Quay’s Pardon Board for the defendants. Bloomsburg’s sheriff collected a petition requesting the Board to follow tradition and pardon one in “a crowd of criminals.” Had all 10 suspects been arrested, Hester probably wouldn’t have hanged. But the railroad’s publicized Mollies “wanted” list missed the remaining 6. On March 5, 1878 a large crowd joined Hester's lawyers and family in Quay’s Harrisburg office to appeal to the Board of Pardons. They argued the "conviction was due to the uncorroborated evidence of an accomplice, who had not only been guilty of murder, but every other crime on the calendar." Barney Dolan swore an affidavit that the defendants weren’t at his bar as Kull claimed, but was too afraid of railroad police framing him to testify at the trial. Patrick Burke swore an affidavit he rode a train with Hester between Big Mine Run and Mahanoy Plane when the murder was supposedly planned in Ashland. Schuylkill County Lawyer M.M.Lavelle sent a letter saying Donahue was the real murderer. Defense lawyer Colonel Freeze argued reasonable doubt of guilt remained. Quay interrupted Freeze’s speech to ask: “Is this an application for a pardon or a commutation” from execution to imprisonment? [Quay portrayed : http://post-gazette.com/pg/04336/419628-57.stm] The Shenandoah Evening Herald reported: “Freeze answered that the petitions asked for a pardon, when it was apparent that the Board were rather astonished at the request, and the speaker noticing the expression in their faces quickly added: ‘While a pardon is asked for all interested will be satisfied with a commutation if your Honors think it best.’” Hester’s wife and daughter cried as Freeze mentioned books against Mollies published to prejudice the population, illustrating Hester shooting Rea, which their text didn’t say. Ex-District Attorney Clark, voted out since his participation in the prosecution, claimed Judge Elwell ruled in every possible point in favor of the defendants. Clark complained that “nine-tenths of the names are of the same nationality as the defendants. Some of the parties who signed the petition told me they would not have signed it if they thought the petition would do a particle of good.” Actually, a 2500-strong petition probably would do a “particle of good,” so it’s more likely they felt intimidated when Clark questioned them, and didn’t want trouble for supporting Mollies. Defense attorney Wolverton said Hester made enemies as tax collector. “The coal operators never liked Hester, and up to the present day they have been trying to get him out of the way… During the trial we labored under serious disadvantages, as we had no money to bring witnesses to Bloomsburg. The other side had special cars and all the money they wanted… The newspapers created so much excitement just before the trials that it was almost impossible to get a jury that was not posted on all the details connected with the murder.” The Board announced it would decide March 14. The Herald reported the general opinion at the State building and among men of “considerable influence” was that mercy wouldn’t be shown. Railroad police guarding Bloomsburg’s jail tried to make Tully confess since January. On March 12 they told Tully’s lawyer to visit him. But Tully restated he wouldn’t make a statement until the Board’s decision. Tully told railroad policeman Boughner Hester refused to escape because he had a good chance at a pardon. On March 14, Quay was absent from the Board without explanation. On March 18, Tully gave an unsigned confession implicating the defendants to railroad police. Naturally, they would’ve telegrammed it to their superiors, who would telegram the Board. The next day, the Board denied their petition. In tears Tully supposedly gave another confession to the lawyer. It stated he didn’t confess earlier because he stayed with the others. Actually, Tully was isolated since January. Tully’s widow stated if he confessed, “it was forced on him or just made up by some policeman.” "Mrs. Hester was moved to tears." Because the Board's decision came 5 days before the execution, she and a delegation asked for a delay, saying: "these men need more time to prepare for death." It was denied. Sheriff Hoffman received a telegram: “The Board of Pardons refuses to interfere with the decision of the Courts.” The Herald commented: “Had the Board of Pardons been disposed for political or other considerations, excepting alone point blank evidence of their innocence, they would not have dared to interfere.” The New York Times reported Quay was “not a man who easily forgives his enemies.” “Boss” Quay's political machine supported Grant over Greeley for president, and the "Miners' Journal" described Hester as a "Leading Greeley Man." But when RNC member William Kemble was convicted of bribing legislators to pay railroads $4,000,000 for strike damage, Quay immediately convened the Board and pardoned Kemble. Kemble told a legislative hearing bribery was "common aid," and "I know the Constitution has got a lot of stuff in it that none of you live up to." Quay violated the constitution to pardon Kull, but wouldn’t follow tradition to pardon Hester. On March 25, 1878, 30 railroad police guarded Bloomsburg's jail. The prisoners had mass, communion, and prayed for hours. Hester comforted his wife and 4 daughters whose shrieks penetrated jail walls. An Illinois miner read Hester’s story and telegrammed Quay a sworn affidavit that Kull told him in Girardville in 1871: “Hester was asked by the group to help and he said he wanted that thing stopped.” It wasn’t forwarded to Bloomsburg in time. Before the gallows, Hester requested 20 minutes to wait for a reprieve from Harrisburg. Denied. Tully, McHugh, and Hester each held a cross in front of his eyes, kissed it, forgave his enemies, and asked forgiveness of all his sins. Hester threw his chest forward, head back, and said “I did not plot the murder of Rea.” Railroad police strapped their legs. The “Standard Drop” to break necks was 5". Railroad police had experience elsewhere. But Hester dropped only 3'3" and their necks didn’t break. Horrified spectators turned away as Hester breathed heavily, convulsing. Three hearts took 9-12 minutes to stop. The 3 Mollies did not deserve execution even if their conviction was correct because desperate poverty drove them to rob, they didn't plan to shoot Rea, whisky lowered their premeditation, Kull likely shot first and made Rea run, if guilty the prisoners were sincerely repentant, and one man's quick shooting did not match the severity of 3 men's imprisonment and slow public strangulation. In 1898 Quay was charged with speculating $1,000,000 from the state treasury. The bank and stocks failed, and the bank cashier shot himself. Quay's telegram addressed to the cashier was discovered saying: "If you will buy and carry 1,000 Met(ropolitan Railroad) for me I will shake the plum tree." Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court acquitted Quay. A decade later Governor Pennypacker vetoed a $2,000 statue of Governor Geary for Harrisburg’s rotunda, and instead placed a $20,000 marble statue of Quay under the words “My God Will Make it the Seed of a Nation.” Clifton Johnson’s tourist book "What to See in America" says this semi-altar indicates this "politician of pernicious type... as the state's patron saint..." When "lights are burning there are curious reflections on the marble behind him that surround his head with a halo." In 1979 Governor Shapp posthumously pardoned Girardville AOH president Jack Kehoe. In 2005, Pennsylvania’s House passed Noncontroversial Resolution No.527 introduced by Perzel(Speaker-R) and Dewese(Majority Leader-D). In 2006 Pennsylvania's Senate passed a matching resolution: WHEREAS alleged Molly Maguires in Columbia County were tried and hanged; employees of the Reading Railroad investigated, arrested, and prosecuted them; judges were connected with companies instigating the trial; to say constitutional rights lacked in the trial would be an understatement; As a result Patrick Hester, Peter McHugh, and Patrick Tully hanged in 1878; RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize the lack of Due Process in the trial. RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives memorialize the Honorable Edward C. Rendell, Governor of the Commonwealth to issue an order acknowledging the same. The House Labor Committee is introducing Resolution 629 to notify Rendell again. Hester, McHugh, and Tully still await a governor’s acknowledgement.

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