Peter Stenger Grosscup

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Peter Stenger Grosscup (born 15 February 1852; died 1 October 1921, on board a ship bound for Southampton) was a United States federal judge.

Born in Ashland, Ohio, Grosscup received an A.B. from Wittenberg College in 1872 and an LL.B. from Boston Law School in 1873.

He was in private practice in Ashland, Ohio from 1873 to 1875 and was then city solicitor of Ashland until 1881. He returned to private practice in Ashland from 1881 to 1883, and then in Chicago, Illinois until 1892.

On December 12, 1892, Grosscup was nominated by President Benjamin Harrison to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois vacated by Henry W. Blodgett. Grosscup was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 20, 1892, and received his commission the same day. According to Almont Lindsey's 1942 book The Pullman Strike, Grosscup received this appointment as political payback for a large donation George Pullman made to the Harrison presidential campaign. (Lindsey, Almont. The Pullman Strike: The Story of a Unique Experiment and of a Great Labor Upheaval. Univ. of Chicago Press: Chicago. 1942. p. 193.)

According to Almont Lindsey, federal judges Peter Grosscup and William Woods issued the first omnibus injunction against the Pullman railroad strikers in Chicago protecting 22 railroads on July 2, 1894. This innovative use of a federal injunction charged unnamed strikers with conspiracy for interfering with interstate commerce and the mails thus putting the federal courts at the disposal of corporations to break strikes. (p. 161) The July 3, 1894 New York Times called the injunction a “Gatling gun on paper”.

On January 18, 1899, President William McKinley nominated Grosscup for elevation to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated by John William Showalter. Grosscup was again confirmed by the United States Senate on January 23, 1899, and received his commission the same day. He served in that capacity until his resignation from the bench on October 23, 1911.

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Legal offices
Preceded by
Henry Williams Blodgett
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
December 20, 1892 – February 1, 1899
Succeeded by
Christian Cecil Kohlsaat