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Palmer, A Mitchell

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years ago






 Alexander Mitchell Palmer






    Surprisingly enough Alexander Mitchell Palmer was born to a Quaker family, and was not just any quaker, but one that went to a Moravian Parochial High School, in none other then Bethlehem, well Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that is. Although he went to school in Bethlehem he was born in a town called none other then Moose-hood, interesting name isn't it. Palmer was nicknamed the "Fighting Quaker".




     Although Palmer as a child was in a parochial school, he went on to attend Swarthmore College in the year 1891. Soon becoming an offical stenographer for Pennsylvania in 1892. Not only did he work as a stenographer, he was also studying law and was admitted to the Pennsylvania state bar in 1893. Palmer studied law at not only Swathmore College but two others, consisting of  Lafayette College and George Washington University. Interesting note: even though he was admitted into the Pennsylania State Bar he never got his law degree.




   Alexander Mitchell Palmer did many things to get himself noticed and become involved in America's History and its Political life. One famous episode of his attempts would be becoming the Custodian of Alien Property under Woodrow Wilson,  thus creating the infamous Palmer Raids. Many other attempts  inculde the number of  different offices he  held over his life time while being a representative of the Democratic Party, his involvment in the party began in the 1890's. In 1908 Palmer was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served untill 1915.  Palmer again achieved another office when he became Attorney General, and head of the Justice Department under again you guessed it Wilson.


Woodrow Wilson


The seizure of alien property and harsh methods used when Palmer was Attorney General is nicknamed the Palmer Raids. They are named after none other than Alexander Mitchell Palmer himself. Palmer used harsh tactics and basically illegal moves to incriminate and humiliate people that he did not believe to be just citizens of America.



     Palmer was strongly acquainted with Woodrow Wilson the twenty-eighth president of the United States. Wilson asked Palmer to be his Secretary of War when he won his presidency but due to Palmers Quaker beliefes he was precluded to accepting the office. When the Unites States entered World War I, Woodrow Wilson selected Palmer custodian of alien property. Palmer was to seize and sell all property belonging to aliens, usually Germans. Palmer usually ended up doing this task in methods though in disapproval. Another famous president that Alexander Mitchell Palmer was acquainted with not so much as Wilson but still known to was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Palmer supported Roosevelt in 1932 by campaigning for his presidency as a democrat.

Franklin D. Roosevelt


    With Wilson selecting Palmer to be the Attorney General, there came new relations between Mr. Palmer and other important figures in American History. In 1919 things started happening and they weren’t for the good side of things. In April, the Post Office found at least thirty-eight bombs that were intended to go to and actually mailed to leading American Politicians. A small time passed and then a big even exceeded these bombs being found, an Italian anarchist was blown up outside of Palmers own home, the nations law enforcement was thus convinced that a radical plot was underway. One must be thinking what does this have to do with new relations to people, well these events lead up to the information that began to leak to the newspapers and press about how the government was tracking activities of important America citizens which had stated criticism of the war and government policies. These new relation people include, Jane Adams- a famed social worker, Charles A. Beard- an economic and cultural historian, and Lillian Wald- noted public health pioneer. Finally maybe one of the most popular new relations formed on the better half of these escapades would be the relation of J. Edgar Hoover, he ended up being a great help to Palmer, Hoover helped enforce the Espionage Act and the Sedition Act.


Charles A. Beard

                                                                                      Lillian Wald                            Jane Adams         





    At one point Palmers views in civil rights were totally different from what you have learned so far on this page. Back before Wilson had appointed Palmer to be Attorney General, Palmer was associated with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. He supported women’s suffrage and even trade union rights.












Page created by:  Megan R.

Avon High School, Avon, Indiana

Date created: March 25, 2008




Comments (5)

Anonymous said

at 7:23 am on Apr 7, 2008

Once again, Great graphics on your wiki page megan! The colors and graphics made me interested to start reading and keep reading the information provided. Make sure you check your spelling on a few words in the wiki, but other than that great job on the organization and information provided! The section about the relation to other important significant figures was very interesting and detailed. I loved it!

Anonymous said

at 7:10 am on Apr 10, 2008

You're wiki was very informative and visually appealing. You're information was interesting and very well organized. The link to the Quaker website was very good and informative.

Anonymous said

at 7:24 am on Apr 10, 2008

This wiki really draws readers in with its creativity. However, once it gets down to the information, many sections were confusing and difficult to read. For instance, I would have liked to see a summary of the Costodian of Alien Property on this page, as it is very important to Palmer's overall political importance and the link to it is very technical and difficult to understand. A little more explanation is needed on this page, but overall the information got across and it's obvious you know your stuff about Palmer.

Anonymous said

at 7:09 am on Apr 11, 2008

I agree with Jim about the creativity. You linked Palmer well to other events and people also. However, I thought your page was bias. Some of the information could have definitely been stated differently, in a more factual manner.

Anonymous said

at 7:38 am on Apr 11, 2008

I have been wandering what the Palmer Raids and now I know it was a form of the Red Scare. Your layout is very neat and organized. I liked how you had a form of a table of cotents. It would of been better though if you would of made them links to the parts of your layout. Overall, your page is very attracting.

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