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John Peter Altgeld

Altgeld, John Peter (1847–1902), U.S. political leader and jurist who sought to defend the individual against abuses of governmental power and vested interests. As a Cook County, Ill. superior court judge, he argued that legal practice was weighted against the poor. Elected Democratic governor of Illinois (1892), he backed labor and championed reform, arousing controversy by freeing three anarchists imprisoned for Chicago's Haymarket Affair Riot of 1886 and by opposing President Cleveland's use of troops to crush the Pullman strike of 1894.

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