Pat the Avenger Returns Fire

In The Great Strike of 1877, a labor dispute between workers and the Pennsylvania Railroad Company set off a popular uprising. The Philadelphia militia shot into an unarmed crowd on July 21st and then took shelter in the roundhouse at 26th Street. On the morning of July 22nd they marched eastward, out of the city. By then, thousands of citizens had raided arms and ammunition shops—preparing themselves to avenge the dead and defend their community. The people of Pittsburgh fired tenaciously upon the militiamen from street corners, alleyways, windows, and housetops.


Local legend gives a name to one of many individuals who doggedly pursued the retreating troops. “Pat the Avenger” is described as a calm and collected gunman emerging from doorways and alleyways, methodically taking aim and firing with great accuracy. It is believed that Pat killed several retreating militiamen, however stories vary and no one has been able to confirm the man’s identity.


Penn Avenue and Butler Street near Doughboy Square, Lawrenceville: 40.46274, -79.96701

Current State

This historical marker remains in place.