Powderly, Terence Vincent, 1849–1924, American labor leader, b. Carbondale, Pa. Apprenticed in a machine shop, he joined (1871) the Machinists and Blacksmiths National Union, becoming its president in 1872. He joined the Knights of Labor in 1874 and served as grand master workman from 1879 to 1893, when he resigned because of disagreement with the officers on policy. He was elected mayor of Scranton, Pa., three times (1878, 1880, 1882). In 1894 he was admitted to the bar in Lackawanna co., Pa. He served (1897–1902) as U.S. commissioner general of immigration and was (1907–21) chief of the division of information in the U.S. Bureau of Immigration.
See his Thirty Years of Labor, 1859 to 1889 (1890, repr. 1967) and his autobiography, The Path I Trod (1940, repr. 1967).
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