Palmer, Alexander (Mitchell)(1872–1936) lawyer, U.S. representative, cabinet member; born in Moosehead, Pa. A Quaker lawyer, he was a reformer in the House of Representatives (Dem., Pa.; 1909–15). As Alien Property Custodian (1917–19), he confiscated property worth millions of dollars from noncitizens. As U.S. attorney general (1919–21), he launched the notorious "Palmer's raids" to deport aliens and radicals. He then retired to his law practice.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.