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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Alexander Mitchell Palmer

ALEXANDER MITCHELL PALMER (1872-), American politician, was born of Quaker parentage at Moosehead, Pa., May 4 1872. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1891 and admission to the bar in 1893 he practised law at Stroudsburg, Pa. He was a member of Congress from 1909 to 1915, was then appointed judge of the U.S. Court of Claims, but resigned four months later. In 1912 and 1916 he was a delegate-atlarge from Pennsylvania to the Democratic National Convention, and from 1912 a member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee. At the convention of 1912 he was " floor leader " of the Wilson supporters, and the next year declined the post of Secretary of War in President Wilson's Cabinet. In 1917 he was appointed alien property custodian under the " Trading with the Enemy Act," and within 18 months was administering 32,000 trusts, valued at $503,000,000. In March 1919 he was appointed to the President's Cabinet as Attorney-General. The Senate refused to confirm the appointment until his record as alien property custodian had been investigated, on the ground that he had made his office a " political machine." It was furthermore charged that he was in contempt of the Senate in having failed to submit on request a complete report of the management of his office. A filibuster at the end of the 65th Congress caused the Senate to adjourn without confirming the appointment, but the President made him a " recess " appointee. Not until Aug. 30 1919 did the Senate Judiciary Committee hand in its report recommending the appointment. This was followed by confirmation. His career as Attorney-General was widely, and it was generally felt justly, criticized by the public at large and by competent legal authorities as being both arbitrary and inefficient. At the Democratic National Convention in 1920 he had strong support for the presidential nomination, standing second on the first six ballots. After a prolonged deadlock, extending through 38 ballots, he released his delegates, who swung to James M. Cox, nominated on the 44th" ballot.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Alexander Mitchell Palmer'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/bri/a/alexander-mitchell-palmer.html. 1910.

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