Aram Pothier Papers
Scope and Contents
This collection documents Aram Pothier’s political career. Folder 1 contains twenty letters written in 1889 while Pothier was in Paris during the Universal Expedition. The letters are to his brother, Joseph Pothier. Folder 2 contains inauguration speeches and an address to the state legislature. Folder 4 contains memorial booklets. Folders 4-6 contain photographs of Pothier including portraits, group photographs and photos of Pothier’s funeral in 1928. Folder 7 and 8 contain newspaper clippings and articles, and other ephemera.
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Conditions Governing Use
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Aram Pothier was born on July 26, 1854 to Jules and Domitilde (Dallaire) Pothier, and grew up in Quebec. At the age of 18 he moved to Woonsocket, RI and took a job as a clerk in a grocery store. He was offered a position at the Woonsocket Institution for Savings three years later. He became a bank teller in 1889; Vice President of the bank in 1909 and President in 1913. Pothier remained President of the Woonsocket Institution for Savings until his death in 1928.
Pothier began his political career in 1885 as a member of the Woonsocket School Board. He served two terms in the Rhode Island General Assembly. In 1889 he was Rhode Island's delegate to the Paris Trade Exhibition. Upon his return from Paris, Pothier resumed his political career serving as Woonsocket City Auditor. He made three unsuccessful bids for mayor and in 1893, on his fourth attempt, Pothier was elected mayor of Woonsocket. He served two terms as mayor and then in 1897 turned his attention to state politics when he was elected as Lieutenant Governor. In 1899, Pothier was again appointed to be the Rhode Island Delegate to the International Trade Exposition in Paris. On this trip, Pothier met his future wife, M. Francoise de Charmigny.
Pothier returned to statewide politics in 1908 when he was elected to his first term as Governor. He was the first French-Canadian Governor of RI. He ran and was elected a total of seven times serving four one year and one two year terms from 1909 to 1915. He was elected again in 1924 and served until 1928. While he was Governor, Pothier reorganized the state's financial structure and established the Rhode Island State Police. Pothier also fought for and a won a change from one to two year terms for state office holders. Pothier was serving his seventh term as Governor when he died February 4, 1928.
.23 Cubic Feet (1 document box)
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