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Olney, Richard,1835–1917, American cabinet member, b. Oxford, Mass. He was a successful Boston lawyer and had served briefly in the state legislature before President Cleveland appointed him to his cabinet. As Attorney General (1893–95), he obtained an injunction against the strikers in the Pullman strikePullman strike,
in U.S. history, an important labor dispute. On May 11, 1894, workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago struck to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives.
..... Click the link for more information. of 1894; under it Eugene V. DebsDebs, Eugene Victor,
1855–1926, American Socialist leader, b. Terre Haute, Ind. Leaving high school to work in the railroad shops in Terre Haute, he became a railroad fireman (1871) and organized (1875) a local of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen.
..... Click the link for more information. was held in contempt of court. Olney also persuaded Cleveland to send in troops to break the strike, ostensibly to prevent interference with the mails, although Gov. John P. AltgeldAltgeld, John Peter
, 1847–1902, American politician, governor of Illinois (1892–96), b. Germany. He was taken by his immigrant parents to Ohio, where he grew up with little formal schooling.
..... Click the link for more information. declared troops unnecessary. In 1895, Olney became Secretary of State. He played a vigorous part in the negotiations with the British over the Venezuela Boundary DisputeVenezuela Boundary Dispute,
diplomatic controversy, notable for the tension caused between Great Britain and the United States during much of the 19th cent. Of long standing, the dispute concerned the boundary between Venezuela and British Guiana (now Guyana); the Venezuelan
..... Click the link for more information. . In the course of the talks he stated flatly that the United States is "practically sovereign on this continent, and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition." This principle was later supported by Theodore Roosevelt as a corollary of the Monroe DoctrineMonroe Doctrine,
principle of American foreign policy enunciated in President James Monroe's message to Congress, Dec. 2, 1823. It initially called for an end to European intervention in the Americas, but it was later extended to justify U.S.
..... Click the link for more information. .
See biography by H. James (1923, repr. 1971); study by G. G. Eggert (1974).