HILAND HALL was born in Bennington, Vermont. He taught school before studying law, and began the practice of law in his home town. Having started his political career as a National Republican, he later became a Whig but ended his career as a Republican. In 1827 he was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives. He went on to become clerk of the Bennington County Court from 1828 to 1829, State’s Attorney from 1828 to 1833, and a member of Congress-first to fill a vacancy and then through reelection in his own right for five full terms. He was a State Banking Commissioner from 1843 to 1847, a state Supreme Court Judge from 1846 to 1850, and Second Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury from 1850 to 1851-via appointment by President Millard Fillmore. President Fillmore also appointed him U.S. Land Commissioner for California from 1851 until 1854. Four years later, he was elected to the first of his two terms as Vermont governor. Strongly anti-slavery, Hall served as a member of the 1861 Peace Convention that sought to prevent the impending Civil War. A student of history, he was president of the Vermont Historical Society for six years and authored a number of historical articles, addresses, and a book-Early History of Vermont. He died in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 8. New York: James T. White & Company.