"Pete" was one of many slaves considered property of the Jarrot family in Cahokia Heights. He sued for his freedom, and the lawsuit closed Illinois' slavery loophole. Pete's lawyer, Lyman Trumbull, went on to shape the 13th Amendment.
The Woody Guthrie Museum has done a public service spotlighting Ochs’s career. Phil Ochs’s biting commentaries remain resonant in an era where the U.S. government provokes wars overseas and sends young men to fight and die on dubious grounds.