Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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POLAND, Luke Potter, jurist, born in Westford, Vermont, 1 November, 1815: died in Waterville, Vermont, 2 July, 1887. He attended the common schools, was employed in a country store and on a farm, taught at Morristown, Vermont, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1836. He was a member of the State constitutional convention in 1843, and prosecuting attorney for the county in 1844-'5. In 1848 he was the Free-soil candidate for lieutenant-governor, and in the same year he was elected a judge of the Vermont supreme court. He was re-elected each successive year, becoming chief justice in 1860, until he was appointed in November, 1865, on the death of Jacob Collamer, to serve out his unexpired term in the United States senate. On its conclusion he entered the house of representatives, and served from 1867 till 1875. While in the senate he secured the passage of the bankrupt law, besides originating a bill for the revision and consolidation of the statutes of the United States. As chairman of the committee on revision in the house, he superintended the execution of his scheme of codification. He was chairman of the committee to investigate the outrages of the Ku-Klux Klan, and of the investigation committee on the Credit mobilier transactions; also of one on the reconstruction of the Arkansas state government. Several times, while serving on the committee on elections, he came into conflict with other Republicans on questions regarding the admission of Democratic members from the south. He was chairman of the Vermont delegation to the Republican national convention of 1876, and presented the name of William A. Wheeler for the vice-presidency, for which office he himself had been brought forward as a candidate. Mr. Poland was a representative in the state legislature in 1878. He was elected to congress again in 1882, and served from 1883 till 3 March, 1885.
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