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Olney

Olney

Olney, Jesse, 1798-1872, American geographer and teacher. His Practical System of Modern Geography (1828), a standard work for decades, revolutionized the teaching of geography. Olney's method was to familiarize students with their own environment in order to progress to the study of more distant places. He served in the Connecticut legislature for eight terms, was elected state comptroller in 1867, and wrote textbooks and a volume of poetry.
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 strike of 1894; under it Eugene V. Debs 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. Altgeld 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 Dispute. 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 Doctrine.

See biography by H. James (1923, repr. 1971); study by G. G. Eggert (1974).

(born Sept. 15, 1835, Oxford, Mass., U.S.—died April 8, 1917, Boston, Mass.) U.S. statesman. As U.S. attorney general (1893–95) under Pres. Grover Cleveland, he set a precedent by using an injunction to break the Pullman Strike (1894). Appointed U.S. secretary of state in 1895, he was confronted with Venezuela's request for support in its border dispute with Britain over the boundary between Venezuela and British Guiana. Olney's aggressive note to Britain, known as the Olney Corollary, demanded that Britain submit the dispute to arbitration and reasserted U.S. sovereignty in the Western Hemisphere in accordance with the Monroe Doctrine. The matter was in fact settled by arbitration two years after Olney's retirement in 1897.

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(born Sept. 15, 1835, Oxford, Mass., U.S.—died April 8, 1917, Boston, Mass.) U.S. statesman. As U.S. attorney general (1893–95) under Pres. Grover Cleveland, he set a precedent by using an injunction to break the Pullman Strike (1894). Appointed U.S. secretary of state in 1895, he was confronted with Venezuela's request for support in its border dispute with Britain over the boundary between Venezuela and British Guiana. Olney's aggressive note to Britain, known as the Olney Corollary, demanded that Britain submit the dispute to arbitration and reasserted U.S. sovereignty in the Western Hemisphere in accordance with the Monroe Doctrine. The matter was in fact settled by arbitration two years after Olney's retirement in 1897.

Learn more about Olney, Richard with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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