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Russell Alexander Alger

Alger, Russell Alexander, 1836–1907, U.S. secretary of war (1897–99), b. near Medina, Ohio. After moving to Michigan he engaged in the lumber business, in which he made a fortune. During the Civil War he rose from the ranks to be a brevet major general. Alger was (1885–86) a popular governor of Michigan and was prominent in Republican national affairs. He was made secretary of war by President McKinley, but the inefficiency of his department, which was highly disorganized when he took charge, and his appointment of William R. Shafter as leader of the Cuban expedition were bitterly criticized, and he resigned. He was later (1902–7) U.S. senator from Michigan.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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