Powderly, Terence V(incent)

Powderly, Terence V(incent)

biographical name

(born Jan. 22, 1849, Carbondale, Pa., U.S.—died June 24, 1924, Washington, D.C.) U.S. labour leader. The son of Irish immigrants, he became a railroad worker at age 13 and a machinist's apprentice at 17. He joined the Machinists' and Blacksmiths' Union in 1871. Three years later he joined the secret order of the Knights of Labor, and in 1879 he was chosen for its highest post, grand master workman. He presided over the union in its period of greatest membership, but attacks by opponents such as Jay Gould caused membership to decline. Powderly became absorbed in internal disputes and finally resigned in 1893. See also labour union; Uriah Smith Stephens.

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