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John Wentworth (mayor)

"Long" John Wentworth (March 5, 1815 - October 16, 1888) was mayor of Chicago for two terms, 1857-1858 & 1860-1861.

John Wentworth weighed more than 300 pounds. He drank at least a pint of whiskey each day and would eat from 30-40 different foods during a single meal. He was an editor of Chicago's first newspaper, the Chicago Democrat and eventually entered politics, serving for 6 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. While in the House, a controversial vote arose by which Wisconsin claimed land in Illinois as far as the tip of Lake Michigan. If Wentworth voted to give the land, including Chicago, to Wisconsin, he was promised a Senate seat. Wentworth declined the offer. Wentworth instituted chain gangs in the city and tried to clean up the city's morals. To do this, he hired spies to determine who was frequenting Chicago's brothels. In 1857, Wentworth led a raid on the Sands, Chicago's Red Light District, which resulted in the burning of the area.

External link

Wentworth's Congressional Biography