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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesRhode Island

Elisha Reynolds POTTER

(1764-1835)

POTTER, Elisha Reynolds, (father of Elisha Reynolds Potter [1811-1882]), a Representative from Rhode Island; born in Little Rest (now Kingston), R.I., November 5, 1764; learned the blacksmith’s trade and also engaged in agricultural pursuits; served as a private in the Revolutionary War; attended Plainfield Academy; studied law; was admitted to the bar about 1789 and commenced practice in South Kingstown Township, R.I.; member of the State house of representatives, 1793-1796 and served as speaker in 1795 and 1796; elected as a Federalist to the Fourth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Benjamin Bourn and served during the Fifth Congress (November 15, 1796-1797), until his resignation; again a member of the State house of representatives, 1798-1808 and speaker in 1802 and 1806-1808; elected to the Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Congresses (March 4, 1809-March 3, 1815); from 1816 to 1835 was a member of the State house of representatives except the year 1818, when he was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Rhode Island; died in South Kingstown, R.I., September 26, 1835; interment in the family burial ground, Washington County, R.I.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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