The Nuttall Encyclopedia
A Sicilian secret society which aims at boycotting the law-courts, superseding the law, and ruling the island; its chief weapon is the boycott; violence is only resorted to for vengeance; funds are raised by blackmail; popular support enables it to control elections, avoid legal proceedings, and influence industrial questions. The Italian government try in vain to put it down.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Maffia'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/m/maffia.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.