Age: 0, credited to Montpelier, VT
Service: State Allotment Commissioner
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 03/14/1818, Underhill, VT
Burial: Green Mount Cemetery, Montpelier, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Kathy Valloch
Findagrave Memorial #: 28560432
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Not eligible
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
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Green Mount Cemetery, Montpelier, VT
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Poland, Joseph, of Montpelier, son of Luther and Nancy (Potter) Poland, was born in Underhill, March 14, 1818. His father, Luther Poland, was born in Brookfield, Mass., March 11, 1790, moved to Vermont in 1814, and died at Montpelier, June 16, 1880.
The family moved from Underhill to Waterville (then Coit's Gore), in 1821, and till 1835 Joseph worked on the farm, meanwhile attending the district school and Johnson Academy. In September, 1835, he came to Montpelier, and as an apprentice entered the office of the Vermont Watchman, where he remained until 1839. He was confirmed in anti-slavery opinions by witnessing the riotous conduct of those who, in October 1835, disturbed the meetings at the State House and the "Old Brick Church," at which Rev. Samuel J. May lectured.
January 1, 1839, he began the publication at Montpelier of the Voice of Freedom, the first distinctly anti-slavery periodical of the state, but in less than a year was compelled to dispose of the property on account of broken health.
In June, 1840, he was able to resume his chosen profession, and established the Lamoille Whig at Johnson. While residing there he served as assistant clerk in the state Legislature. After four years' connection with this paper, Mr. Poland returned to Montpelier and established the Green Mountain Freeman as the organ of the newly-formed Liberty party. This publication he continued, with marked success, until the close of the presidential campaign of 1848, during which period the vote of the party in the state increased to more than 15,000, and in the nation to 300,000. He served as chairman of the state committee, and largely as general organizer of the party, during a large portion of these years–a period made ever memorable as witnessing the birth of that wonderful moral and political revolution which, a few years later, elevated Abraham Lincoln to the presidency, and struck the fetters from every American slave.
About 1882, the late Hon. E. P. Walton justly wrote: "Mr. Poland may properly indulge in the double boast of him that girdeth on the harness and of him that putteth it off, having lived to see American slavery, not only forever extinguished by the organic law of the land, but remembered only with such detestation that history blushes at the record." In 1849 Mr. Poland was chosen a director and secretary of the Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Co., positions which he held during the entire life of the company, more than thirty years. In 1852-'53 he served as judge of probate for Washington county; in 1858-'60 was a member of the state Senate, and in 1870-'71 represented the town of Montpelier in the Legislature. In 1861 he was commissioned by Governor Fairbanks (and afterwards by President Lincoln, in connection with Hon. John B. Page and Hon. John Howe, Jr., under an act of Congress providing for allotment commissioners) to visit the Vermont regiments in the field and procure from each soldier an allotment of such portion of his monthly pay as could be spared during his enlistment, to be transmitted to his family, or any depository he might select. In 1863, under a commission from Governor Smith, Mr. Poland purchased what was then denominated the "Fair Ground," but now "Seminary Hill," in Montpelier, and erected thereon the buildings constituting "Sloan Hospital," which was maintained for many years, first by the state and subsequently by the general government, as a rendezvous for invalid soldiers. He has been a trustee of the Vermont State Library since Nov. 1, 1859. From 1861 to 1869 he held the position of collector of internal revenue for the First Congressional District of Vermont. In March, 1868, Judge Poland in connection with his son, J. Monroe, purchased the Vermont Watchman, which he continued until 1882, when he permanently retired from active business. He left the paper with far more than double the circulation it had when he assumed it. Mr. Poland was also favorably known to the Congregational churches of Vermont and New Hampshire as the publisher and proprietor of both the Vermont Chronicle and the New Hampshire Journal. Of Mr. Poland's long service in the editorial field, space allows us only one or two brief expressions of his brethren on his retirement. The Rutland Herald said: "The Watchman and Journal, under his hands, has always hewed straight to the line on all great questions of deep public concern in morals and politics. A man of excellent ability as a thinker and writer, of discreet action and sagacious judgment in politics, Mr. Poland has acted well his part in Vermont journalism. His influence has been large, and it has been uprightly exerted." The Saint Albans Messenger said: "But it is not so much in relation to the public as an able and conscientious journalist that we feel moved to write, but rather in his relations to the editors and publishers of the state. In these relations Mr. Poland has been most exceptionally free from the petty jealousies, the spirit of detraction and disparagement, the rancor and unwarranted personal abuse which have prevailed too generally among the editors of the state, and in this respect he leaves to his professional brethren a very worthy example."
Mr. Poland became a communicant of Bethany Church in 1839, and has been since the death of Hon. E. P. Walton its senior deacon; also served as superintendent of its Sunday school, which relations he sustained to the Congregational church in Johnson, during his residence there.
Judge Poland has been for half a century by voice, pen and earnest work an untiring friend and advocate of the temperance cause.
During his long residence in Montpelier Judge Poland's political and personal influence has been far-reaching and effective, and has been freely sought and acknowledged in connection with most of the public men and measures of his time. Proverbially public-spirited, he has ever moved far in advance of men of much larger means in encouraging every business, benevolent, or social enterprise in his community; the sick and the suffering have always found in him a friend and benefactor, and the worthy young men are by no means few whom he has encouraged and assisted to enter upon a successful business career for themselves.
July 7, 1840, Mr. Poland married Mary Ann, daughter of the late Joseph Rowell. Of their seven children, but one, Edward R., is living; three died in infancy: Clara A., an accomplished daughter of twenty-one, died in 1865; Charles F. died in 1875, in early manhood, and J. Monroe formerly adjutant of the 15th Vermont, died Sept. 16, 1891. Mrs. Poland died in 1862, and Feb. 8, 1873, Judge Poland married Julia M. Harvey, daughter of James K. and Caroline (Coburn) Harvey, of Barnet.
Source: Jacob G. Ullery, compiler, Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vermont, (Transcript Publishing Company, Brattleboro, VT, 1894), Part II, pp. 321.