Alexander Mitchell Palmer (May 4, 1872 – May 11, 1936), better known as A.
Mitchell Palmer, was United States Attorney General from 1919 to 1921.
He is best known for overseeing the Palmer Raids during the Red Scare of 1919–20.
After graduating from Swarthmore College, Palmer established a legal practice in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
He became a member of the Democratic Party and won election to the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1909 to 1915.
He influenced the Revenue Act of 1913, which lowered the tariff and implemented a federal income tax.
Palmer sought election to the Senate in 1914, but finished third behind incumbent Republican Boies Penrose and Progressive candidate Gifford Pinchot.
During World War I, he served as Alien Property Custodian, taking charge of the seizure of enemy property.
Palmer became Attorney General under President Woodrow Wilson in 1919.
In the aftermath of World War I, the nation experienced a strong reaction against Communists and anarchists known as the First Red Scare.
An anarchist named Luigi Galleani conducted a series of bombings and attempted to assassinate Palmer and other prominent individuals.
During the Red Summer of 1919, the United States also experienced numerous race riots and labor tensions.
In reaction to this domestic unrest, Palmer created the General Intelligence Unit and recruited J.
Edgar Hoover to head the new organization.
Beginning in November 1919, Palmer launched a series of raids that rounded up and deported numerous suspected radicals.
Though the American public initially supported the raids, Palmer's raids earned backlash from civil rights activists and legal scholars.
He received further backlash when a series of attacks on May Day 1920 that he had raised grave concerns about did not materialize.
Palmer sought the presidential nomination at the 1920 Democratic National Convention, but he faced strong opposition from labor groups and the nomination went to James M.
He resumed the private practice of law and remained active in Democratic politics until his death in 1936.