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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PALMER, Thomas Witherell, senator, born in Detroit, Michigan, 25 January, 1830. After studying in the University of Michigan he made a pedestrian tour in Spain, travelled in South America, and then engaged in mercantile life in Wisconsin. He entered the real estate business in Detroit in 1853, then became a lumber merchant, and was active in politics of the state, serving as a member of the board of estimates, and as a state senator in 1878. He was defeated for congress in 1876, but was elected a United States senator from Michigan for a term of six years, from 4 March, 1883. He was president of the Waterways convention held in Sault Sainte Marie under the auspices of the Duluth chamber of commerce, in August, 1887, to consider the condition of affairs resulting from the increase of commerce between Lake Superior and the lower lakes.
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