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Fueling the Gilded AgeRailroads, Miners, and Disorder in Pennsylvania Coal Country$
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Andrew B. Arnold

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814764985

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814764985.001.0001

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Regional Leadership Networks, 1875–1882

(p.63) 3 Secret
Fueling the Gilded Age

Andrew B. Arnold

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the regional leadership networks that enabled coal miners of Central Pennsylvania to pursue their activism during the years 1875–1882. After the strike and trial of 1875, Central Pennsylvania's coal miner activists searched for more legal, or at least more safe, forms of power. This chapter considers how Central Pennsylvania's coal miners shifted their day-to-day labor activism from pit committees to broader fields of endeavor, particularly by turning to small, secretive Local Assemblies of the Noble and Holy Knights of Labor and to the Greenback Labor Party in the 1878 election. It examines how coal miners refined their roles as regional leaders and as intermediaries between miners and operators that both sides could trust. It also discusses the strikes of 1880 and 1882 in which coal miners sought to coordinate wages across the Maryland and Pennsylvania coalfields.

Keywords:   regional leadership networks, coal miners, Central Pennsylvania, labor activism, strike, Knights of Labor, Greenback Labor Party, election, wages, Maryland

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