Biography of John P. Altgeld
Famous American Biographies

JOHN PETER ALTGELD, a noted American politician and writer on social questions, was born in Germany, December 30, 1847. He came to America with his parents and settled in Ohio when two years old. In 1864 he entered the Union army and served till the close of the war, after which he settled in Chicago, Illinois. He was elected judge of the superior court of Cook county, Illinois, in 1886, in which capacity he served until elected governor of Illinois in 1892, as a Democrat. During the first year of his term as governor he attracted national attention by his pardon of the anarchists convicted of the Haymarket murder in Chicago, and again in 1894 by his denunciation of President Cleveland for calling out federal troops to suppress the rioting in connection with the great Pullman strike in Chicago. At the national convention of the Democratic party in Chicago, in July, 1896, he is said to have inspired the clause in the platform denunciatory of interference by federal authorities in local affairs, and "government by injunction." He was gubernatorial candidate for reelection on the Democratic ticket in 1896, but was defeated by John R. Tanner, Re'publican. Mr. Altgeld published two volumes of essays on "Live Questions," evincing radical views on social matters.

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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