Now available online in digital format are the papers of John Mitchell, Terence V. Powderly, and John W. Hayes, three Gilded Age and Progressive Era labor leaders of significant national importance with strong ties to Pennsylvania. Powderly was active in union work, eventually rising to national leadership; in addition, he served as mayor of Scranton, practiced law, and became a Republican Party operative before working for the federal government. He was also a world traveler, talented photographer, and author. John William Hayes also became active with unions and was an ally of Powderly until 1893 when Hayes joined with the socialists and populist agrarians in order to oust Powderly from his leadership role in the Knights of Labor. John Mitchell began working as a farm laborer as a child, then became a coal miner. He was first a member of the Knights of Labor and then, successively, legislative agent, organizer, vice president, and president of the fledgling United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).

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