The Molly Maguires defaced and disgraced! As would be expected for any secret society, facts about their activities are outweighed by speculation. Still the result was that in the years 1876-78, numerous Mollies were tried for crimes and many executed. Others were the victims of vigilante justice. Their external arm, The Ancient Order of Hibernians, gave a measure of legitimacy which cloaked criminal activities. This is an Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) sword of the period which has undergone a deliberate debilitation process. The brass hilt which has seen considerable use evidenced by the wear to the grip, has had the AOH emblem ground down leaving a clear silhouette, but blatantly defaced. The chain guard has been removed and the blade cut to 20" length by a single machine stroke, probably a water shear, leaving a distinct impression of the cutting tool. The blade bears the faintest remnants of AOH and the chapter. That too, evidently obscured at the time of its capture. All these clearly done at the same time, in antiquity and requiring considerable effort, transforming the sword into a valued trophy of a victory over the Mollies, probably the capture of an important activist. The sword, then, most likely graced a Pennsylvania police station or perhaps, even the office of a Pinkerton detective who participated in destruction of the Mollies. We'll never know for sure, but we do know, that of existing Ancient Order of Hibernian swords, this one comes from the heart of the action.