Coal and Iron Police

Title page of the 1853 Laws of Pennsylvania

Private police force in the US state of Pennsylvania that existed between 1865 and 1931.

- Coal and Iron Police
Title page of the 1853 Laws of Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania State Police

State police agency of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, responsible for statewide law enforcement.

State police agency of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, responsible for statewide law enforcement.

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Pennsylvania State Police Helicopter
Pennsylvania Constabulary 1905
Pennsylvania Constabulary at McKee's Rock 1909

Leading up to the Anthracite Strike, private police forces (the coal and iron police) were used by mine and mill owners to stop worker strikes.

Coatesville, Pennsylvania

City in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States.

City in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States.

Main Office of Lukens Steel
Episcopal Church of the Trinity, 323 East Lincoln Highway

This African-American man was accused of killing Deputy Constable/Coal and Iron Policeman Edgar Rice, a popular figure in town.

Location of the counties in northeastern Pennsylvania where the Molly Maguires were active

Molly Maguires

Irish 19th-century secret society active in Ireland, Liverpool and parts of the Eastern United States, best known for their activism among Irish-American and Irish immigrant coal miners in Pennsylvania.

Irish 19th-century secret society active in Ireland, Liverpool and parts of the Eastern United States, best known for their activism among Irish-American and Irish immigrant coal miners in Pennsylvania.

Location of the counties in northeastern Pennsylvania where the Molly Maguires were active
Pinkerton Detective Agency detective James McParland (in the 1880s)
Franklin B. Gowen (1836-1889), District Attorney for Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, and of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company
A "coffin notice," allegedly posted by Molly Maguires in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. It was presented by Franklin B. Gowen, along with other similar coffin notices, as evidence in an 1876 murder trial.
Six of the convicted defendants walking to the scaffold at Pottsville, Pennsylvania from Leslie's Weekly June 21, 1877

Fellow prisoners testified against the defendants, who were arrested by the Coal and Iron Police.

Pinkerton Detective Agency agent James McParland, seen here some time in the 1880s

James McParland

American private detective and Pinkerton agent.

American private detective and Pinkerton agent.

Pinkerton Detective Agency agent James McParland, seen here some time in the 1880s
James McParland, from the 1907 book The Confessions and Autobiography of Harry Orchard

He also began working secretly with Robert Linden, a Pinkerton agent assigned to the Coal and Iron Police for the purpose of coordinating the eventual arrest and prosecution of members of the Molly Maguires.

John Mitchell, President of the UMWA, arriving in Shenandoah surrounded by a crowd of breaker boys.

Coal strike of 1902

Strike by the United Mine Workers of America in the anthracite coalfields of eastern Pennsylvania.

Strike by the United Mine Workers of America in the anthracite coalfields of eastern Pennsylvania.

John Mitchell, President of the UMWA, arriving in Shenandoah surrounded by a crowd of breaker boys.
Coal miners in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, in 1900.
John Mitchell, President of the UMWA, takes the bull (coal trusts) by the horns.
Theodore Roosevelt teaches the childish coal barons a lesson; 1902 cartoon by Charles Lederer
Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan have a meeting where they agree on a resolution for the strike.
Commission appointed by Roosevelt to resolve the dispute, photographed by William H. Rau
The two sides were supposed to listen to expert testimony and come to a friendly agreement; cartoon from the Cleveland Dealer

An immigrant striker named Anthony Giuseppe was found fatally shot near a Lehigh Valley Coal Company colliery in Old Forge; it was thought the Coal and Iron Police guarding the site shot blindly through a fence.

Black Fury (film)

1935 American crime film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Paul Muni, Karen Morley, and William Gargan.

1935 American crime film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Paul Muni, Karen Morley, and William Gargan.

Pennsylvania state legislator and former coal miner Michael Musmanno acted to ban the private Coal and Iron Police after the murder of miner John Barkoski in Imperial, Pennsylvania, in 1929.

From a 1960 court photograph

Michael Musmanno

American jurist, politician, and naval officer.

American jurist, politician, and naval officer.

From a 1960 court photograph
Michael Musmanno as presiding judge during Einsatzgruppen trial
Musmanno's grave at Arlington National Cemetery

When miner John Barkoski was beaten to death in Imperial, Pennsylvania in 1929 by the Coal and Iron Police during a strike, Musmanno was outraged and, as a state legislator, introduced a bill to banish this private police force.

Title page of the 1853 Laws of Pennsylvania

John Barcoski

Title page of the 1853 Laws of Pennsylvania

John Barcoski (also spelled as Barkoski, Borkovski, or Barkowsky; December 15, 1889 – February 10, 1929) was a Polish émigré miner brutally beaten to death by Pennsylvania's Coal and Iron Police on February 10, 1929.

Lynching of Zachariah Walker

The lynching of Zachariah Walker occurred on August 13, 1911, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

The lynching of Zachariah Walker occurred on August 13, 1911, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

Edgar Rice, a Worth Brothers Steel policeman, confronted Walker and threatened to club him.

List of law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania

List of law enforcement agencies in the state of Pennsylvania.

List of law enforcement agencies in the state of Pennsylvania.

Coal and Iron Police