Palmer, A. Mitchell

Card signed by Wilson’s Attorney General, enforced Prohibition, directed “Palmer Raids” against “Reds” and anarchists

Price: $25.00

Description:
(1872-1936) The Fighting Quaker, Attorney General 1919-21, enforced Prohibition, directed controversial “Palmer Raids”. Pa. US Rep. 1909-15, member of progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Alien Property Custodian Oct. 1917-March 1919, responsible for seizure, administration, and sometimes sale of enemy property in the US. Wilson’s Attorney General 1919-21. A year after the Immigration Act of 1918 expanded the definition of aliens that could be deported, the Senate demanded Palmer explain his failure to move against radicals and anarchists. He organized the General Intelligence Unit within the Department of Justice and recruited J. Edgar Hoover to head it. Hoover compiled lists of resident aliens for deportation proceedings. Palmer launched his campaign against radicalism in Nov. 1919 and Jan. 1920 with series of police actions known as the Palmer Raids. Federal agents and local police rounded up large groups of suspected radicals, often based on membership in a political group rather than any action taken. Undercover informants and warrantless wiretaps helped identify some 10,000 suspected leftists and radicals arrested. Fearful of extremist violence and revolution, public initially supported the raids. Civil libertarians, the radical left, and legal scholars raised protests. Through most of 1919 he did not join the growing chorus of anti-union sentiment and anti-Red rhetoric that greeted the Seattle General Strike and the Boston Police Strike. The railroad and coal strikes set for Nov. 1, 1919 roused him. The railroad brotherhoods postponed their strike in face of political and public opposition, but the United Mine Workers under John L. Lewis went forward. Palmer invoked the Lever Act, wartime measure that made it a crime to interfere with production or transportation of necessities. He obtained an injunction Oct. 31and 400,000 coal workers struck Nov. 1. Lewis, facing criminal charges, withdrew his strike call, though many strikers ignored his action. As the strike dragged on, coal supplies were running low and public sentiment was calling for even stronger government action. Final agreement came Dec. 10. Palmer's tough stand won him considerable praise from business and professional groups. Hoover’s GID became a storehouse of information about radicals in America, having infiltrated organizations and, following Nov. 1919 & Jan. 1920 raids, it had interrogated thousands of those arrested and read through boxes of publications and records seized. Agents told Palmer they had evidence of plans for an attempted overthrow of the government on May Day 1920. With Palmer's backing, Hoover warned the nation to expect the worst: assassinations, bombings, and general strikes. The date came and went without incident to Palmer’s embarrassment. He sought 1920 Democratic nomination for President, ran a respectable 3rd until his support collapsed on the 39th ballot and the nomination went to James Cox. He backed Al Smith for the Democratic nomination in 1928. As an FDR supporter and a DC delegate served on Platform Commiteee of 1932 Democratic Convention and authored original draft of the platform. Signed 2 x 3 card

Condition: Very good, mount remnants verso
Type:Signed Card






[View Shopping Cart]
[Home] [Articles] [Biography] [Calendar]
[Catalogue] [Search]



enbainc@cs.com

Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




Home
Home

Articles
Articles

Biography
Biography

Calendar
Calendar

Catalogue
Catalogue

Search
Search