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Charles Pearson campaigned against corruption in jury selection, for penal reform, for the abolition of capital punishment and for universal suffrage. Pearson also used his political influence to promote improvements to transport communications, campaigning for the construction of an underground railway during twenty years. This, however, only earned him the laughter of the people. In addition to this, he also unveiled his plans for an atmospheric railway pushed by compress air through a tube, causing himself humiliation in Punch magazine.
Fortunately, in 1860, with the huge donations of several railway companies, Pearson's plans took effect and chief engineer John Fowler was hired. It was Pearson's idea to send the people living in the construction site to other slums.
In 1862, as Pearson, his wife Mary and Fowler were touring the construction site of the underground railway, the body of Robert Waugh was discovered in the trench. They contacted the Metropolitan Police Frederick Abberline to investigate the scene.