Regional Leadership Networks, 1875–1882
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.
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