A Molly Maguire ON TRIAL: The Thomas Munley Story


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By H. T. Crown

The Molly Maguire trials of the mid 1870s took place in an atmosphere of anti-Irish hysteria generated by the Pottsville Miners Journal, the Shenandoah Herald, and Philadelphia and New York newspapers. It was in this atmosphere that Thomas Munley a Molly Maguire accused of the murder of Thomas Sanger at Raven Run, went on trial. The Pinkerton detective, James McParlan, was put on the witness stand for the prosecution. McParlan had infiltrated the Molly Maguire using the name, James McKenna, and learned all of the secrets of the Mollies. Author Howard Crown examines McParlan’s testimony in the trial and raises startling questions about the detective’s testimony. Did McParlan commit perjury on the witness stand? Was Munley innocent of the crime? The author answers many questions that have been raised about the trial in his well written book.