Monday, November 25, 2013

Rebecca Needham, d/o Ann Potter, d/o Humphrey Potter, s/o Sir Thomas Potter, Lord Mayor of Coventry, 1622

The following was first printed in Potter Profiles, Vol. 11, March 1987. It had been shared with me by Lois Horn to go with what I had dubbed, Branch 81.

"Anthony Needham, born in Devonshire in 1628, was the son of Anthony and Jane, and was the father of Rebecca. He arrived in Salem in 1651 and Rebecca was born five years later. Back in England, under Cromwell, the Needham family had taken an active part in the Reformation movement. Their ancestry can be traced to the 12th century Norman..... "de Meet Mame".....interpreted as "deer or horses" and "park or home"..... suggesting a remote ancestor to have been a keeper of the royal deer park. Indeed, this progenitor's wife appears to have been a cousin to William the Conqueror.

"Rebecca's mother was Ann Potter, only child of Humphrey Potter, who died in the Irish Rebellion. Ann's grandfather was Sir Thomas Potter, who in 1622 had been Lord Mayor of Coventry. Possibly as a result of his title, he became an Irish landholder. We know that 19 years later he was in Dublin and became a victim of the Irish Massacre.

"Meanwhile, Humphrey Potter had married into the family of Sir Philemon O'Neale of Antrim. At the latter's death, the considerable property in northern Ireland was divided among his children, including of course the wife of Humphrey Potter.  Ann Potter would have been a small child during the dire events which cost the lives of both her father and grandfather.

"Ann Potter's aunt, her father's sister Rebecca, had in the meantime come to America. The new Mrs. Rebecca Bacon of Salem, she seems to have joined the sect of Quakers. After her brother Humphrey's death, this stout-hearted woman undertook the voyage back to Ireland to claim her niece, Ann, whose mother may also have died at this point. The two sailed on Ye London Merchant.

"So Ann Potter came across the Atlantic to live in Salem with her aunt, and to become a Quaker like her aunt. In January 1655, Ann married Anthony Needham and their daughter, Rebecca, was born the following year and christened for her great-aunt, the courageous Rebecca Potter Bacon."

The sketch continued with the saga of Rebecca Needham's life; she married Michael Chapman and died early at the age of 35. Consult Vol. 11 of Potter Profiles to read it for yourself. DPP

Monday, November 11, 2013

Potters In Elkhart County, Indiana, Early 1800s

From  "Marriages in Elkhart County, Indiana, 1830-1849," published in the Hoosier Genealogist, Vol. 11, No. 1, pps. 21-25:

James M. Potter married Clarinda Runcerman on 30 Jan 1845 (Book B, page 181)
Philander W. Potter married Laura Carr? Barr? on 13 May 1838 (Book A, page 219)
William A. Potter married Mary C. Bachelor on 13 Sep 1837 (Book A, page 193)
Eliza M. Potter m. Jonathan Rush on 24 Mar 1836 (Book A, page 132)
Eliza Rush married Aaron Skinner on 7 Oct 1839 (not stated)

Ken Heeter of Bel Air, MD, submitted this to Potter Profiles (Vol. 10, Jan 1987):  "I have a letter written on 7 May 1933 from Mrs. C.R. Sparks of Berrien Springs, Michigan:  Eliza Potter was born in Butler Co, Ohio in 1818. She was first married to Jonathan Rush in 1836. She married Aaron Skinner (my grandfather) in 1839. She was buried in South Bend, Indiana, in 1878. My older cousin says she remembers Grandmother's mother visiting them when she was a little girl. As nearly as we can figure it out that must have been sometime around 1868. I think she died not long after she visited there."

This is the Elkhart County courthouse in Goshen, Indiana. It was built in 1870 so the above marriages would not have been recorded in this building.......... but perhaps those early records were transferred there.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Zabdiel Potter in Caroline County, Maryland, 1750+

On page 85 of The History of Caroline County, Maryland, is given a sketch on Zabdiel Potter:

"Around 1750, Zabdiel Potter came from Rhode Island and settled in Caroline County, Maryland. He died in 1761 leaving a widow and two sons, Nathaniel and Zabdiel, Jr.  Nathaniel died about 1790 leaving a widow but no children. Zabdiel, Jr., was a physician and died about 1839 and had two sons:

Nathaniel became a physician and died in 1843. William became a merchant in Denton, Maryland; he married Ann Webb Richardson, a daughter of Col. William Richardson. She died 12 Sep 1836, age 64, and William Potter died 25 Nov 1847, age 76. They had both sons and daughters.

The map is from FamilySearch and highlights in green Caroline County. Is this your Zabdiel Potter?

This appeared in Potter Profiles, Vol. 10, January 1987. I did a quick Google search for the name Zabdiel Potter and found this sketch from Ancestry:

The History of Caroline County, Maryland, From Its Beginning, 1920, pp. 85-87


        If you should visit Williston, the large brick mansion there would undoubtedly attract your attention.  If you asked the history of the house and its owners, this is the story you would be told.  
About the middle of the eighteenth century Zabdiel Potter, a sea captain from Rhode Island, settled at this place, building for his home a small brick house.  Being an enterprising man, he soon made the place a point of commercial importance on the upper Choptank.  In his honor the settlement became known as “Potter’s Landing.”  Boats bound for Baltimore left the Landing laden with cargoes of tobacco and on return trips brought such supplies as the colonists had to import.  While on a sea voyage in 1761, Captain Potter died leaving a widow and two sons.
        Nathaniel Potter, the elder of the sons, inherited the home place known as Philips Range.  During the Revolution he became a prominent figure in the country.  From 1774 to 1776 he served in the Maryland Conventions, was Justice of the Orphans’ Court and first major in Staffords Company of Militia.  In December ’76, Isaac McHard, who was appointed to collect food supplies in the province, engage Maj. Potter to collect, salt, and barrel all the pork he could procure for use in the army.  So successful was Maj. Potter in this, that in ’78 he was appointed Caroline agent for purchasing provisions for the army.  Two years after the close of the war he died leaving a widow but no children.  The home at Potter’s Landing he will to his only brother.
        This brother, Zabdiel Potter 2nd, was a practicing physician in the county at the outbreak of the Revolution.  He was commissioned captain of the first Caroline company of the flying camp, but resigned to become surgeon’s first mate that he might utilize his medical skill where it was so greatly needed.
        Dr. Potter died in 1739 [sic] and, like his father, left two sons of whom Caroline is justly proud.  In his will expressed a desire that these sons should engage in trade together, but Nathaniel, the elder, preferred to follow his father’s profession.  He graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and later became a member of the faculty of the University of Maryland, which position he held until his death in 1843.
        William, the younger son, became a merchant in Denton.  He married Ann Webb, daughter of Colonel William Richardson.  For four years (1797, ’98, ’99 and 1804) he represented Caroline in the lower House of the Assembly.  In 1806 he became director for our county of the newly established branch of Farmer’s Bank at Annapolis in Easton.
        In 1809 he retired from business and returned to Potter’s Landing, where he had the year previously completed the main building of the present mansion.  Here he probably expected to spend the rest of his life in farming, which seems to have been his chief delight, but the War of 1812 changed these plans.  During this conflict he became Brigadier General of the Maryland Militia. General Potter three times served on the Governor’s Council and in the years 1816 and 1831, being the first named, was next to the governor in state administration.
        In the rear of the mansion two marble slabs bear these inscriptions:
“Sacred to the memory of Ann W. Potter who departed this life 12th Sept. 1836, Aged 64 years.”
General William Potter who departed this life Nov. 25, 1847 in the 76th year of his age.”
        A few years after the death of General Potter, his sons having died and his daughters married, the property at Potter’s Landing was purchased by Colonel John Arthur Willis.  During the Civil War four companies of the First Eastern Shore Regiment of Maryland Volunteers were raised at Potter’s Landing, it having been Colonel Willis who initiated the formation of this regiment.  In later years the name of Potter Town was changed to Williston in memory of the Colonel and his family.
Potter’s Landing was for over a century the leading shipping port of Caroline County.  During the lives of General Potter and Colonel Willis lines of sailing vessels plied between this wharf and Baltimore, and until the close of the last century, travel between that city and the central part of Caroline was entirely by boats, all of which stopped at this landing.  The wharf is still used by the farmers of the neighborhood as a shipping point for their freight.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Thomas Potter, 1791-1865, War of 1812 from Tennessee

In Potter Profiles, Volume 10, January 1987, page 8, I published this bit. I had found this bit in Ansearchin News for Jan/Mar 1972. It was a bit contributed by Alfred C. Potter:

Thomas Potter, Christian Minister, born in 1791, died 24 January 1865, served in the War of 1812 from Overton County, Tennessee. He was a Pvt. in the company of Capt. William Evans, 3rd Regiment, Tennessee Militia, under the command of Col. Copeland. He was discharged at Fayetteville, Tennessee, on 16 May 1814.

He married Elizabeth Wilkerson, born 1793 and died 26 May 1868. She was the daughter of Thomas Wilkerson and a Mrs. Pemberton.

The couple had seven children:  Phoeba, born 1818;  William, born 1819;  John, born 1822;  Henry, born 1824;  Elisha, born 1826;  Bennata, born 1828;  and Elijah, born 1830.

Thomas Potter left Jackson County, Tennessee, and went to Montgomery County, Illinois and then to Dallas County, Missouri in 1823. He returned to Montgomery County, Illinois, and then to Green County, Missouri in 1820.

Both Thomas and Elizabeth are buried in a private family plot twelve miles east of Springfield, Missouri.

I hope this query-bit will be of help to some Potter/Wilkerson researcher. Good luck. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Potter Family Coat of Arms...... Do You Believe It?

Back in January 1987, in Volume 10 of Potter Profiles, I published a copy of the Coat of Arms for the Potter family as created by Halberts Company in Bath, Ohio. This crest showed three black 3-legged cooking pots as the principle feature. Today I did a Google image search for "potter family coat of arms" and found several different variations........ but not a one with three black cooking pots!

The Halbert's rendering explains:  "The Potter Coat of Arms illustrated at left was drawn by an heraldic artist from information officially recorded in ancient heraldic archives. Documentation for the Potter Coat of Arms design can be found in Rietstap Armorial General." I Google searched for that  and found this:

Family Crest SearchThe Best Places to find Family Crests and Coats of Arms on the Web

Rietstap's Armorial General

Riestap's Armorial General is a huge collection of family crests gathered from numerous smaller armorials and all put in one multi-volume armorial. There are 130,000 or so European names listed along with a description of each names family crest. Sometimes you will also find the nationality of the owner, his title, if any, and the date of the grant. You probably don't really care about anything else.


Is there a genuine Potter Coat of Arms in use today? Does any living Potter man have the right to claim and display such? In my understanding the answer is a resounding NO. I suggest you first look at the Wikipedia entry for "coats of arms" to get a foundational understanding of the subject. Coats of arms were valuable and valid in their day but that day was long, long ago.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Abijah Potter (1760-1842) & Mary Tower (1761-1861) in New Hampshire

This bit is from the History of Stark, New Hampshire, 1774-1974 published by the Stark Bicentennial Committee. ........ The Potter Family:

Abijah Potter, son of Theophilus Potter and Lois (Walker) Potter, a farmer, came to Percy with his family in 1806. He served in the Revolution and was a sergeant. He married Mary Tower, daughter of Joseph and Hepsibah (Gibbs) Tower, and their children were:  Abijah, Polly, Mark, Charlotte, Lorana, Aaron and Justus. (Lorana married John Waid, son of John and Ruth (Merriman) Waid. Their children were Mary, Caleb and Laura.)

Aijah Potter, farmer, son of Abijah and Mary (Tower) Potter, married Lydia Rowell, daughter of Daniel and Judith (French) Rowell. They had at least one son, Leonard.

Aaron Potter, farmer, son of Abijah and Mary (Tower) Potter, married Hannah Miles, daughter of Captain Daniel and Elizabeth (Smith) Miles. He served as town clerk.

Justus Potter, son of Abijah and Mary (Tower) Potter, married in 1819 Elizabeth Miles, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Smith) Miles. Their children were:  Justus, Alvira, Mary, Charles, Daniel, Hannah, Aaron, Naomi Elizabeth, Naville, Abijah and Horace. Justtus married, as his second wife, Almine Peabody, and, as this third wife, Susan (Rowell) Curren. (Naomi Elizabeth married Cyrus Thompson, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Wheeler) Thompson. They had one son, Elwin. Both father and son died in 1862 from diphtheria. Naomi remarried and moved away.)

Leonard Potter, son of Abijah and Lydia (Rowell) Potter, married Susan Cole, daughter of Andrew and Hannah (Peverly) Cole. Their children were: Freeman, Norman (who died age 15), Edwin, Elizabeth and Mary.

Justus Potter, son of Justus and Elizabeth (Miles) Potter, a farmer, married Hannah Dodge, daughter of David and Rachel Dodge. Their children were: Louisa, Olive, Lucina, Lafayette (who died in infancy), Elizabeth, Adonna and his twin, Augusta, who died in infancy. (Elizabeth married Hazen Merrill, son of Nathanial and Drusilla (Stone) Merrill. They had two children:  Irven and Susie and lived on his father's farm.)

Aaron A. Potter, son of Justus and Elizabeth (Miles) Potter, married Ella McFarland of Northumberland. Her served several terms in town office.

Abijah Potter, son of Justus and Elizabeth (Miles) Potter, married Mary Roxana Peabody, daughter of Lorenzo and Lydia Peabody of Milan. Their children were:  Flora, Iona, Leon, Iva and Royal Wilbur. (Iva married Osmar Cole, son of Hiram and Matilda Cole.)

Horace Potter, son of Justus and Elizabeth (Miles) Potter, married Elizabeth Woodward, sister of Billy Woodward. They built the house near the Jimmy Cole place and farmed. Their children were:  Elvia, Charles, Aaron, William, Elizabeth and Marcia (who died in infancy). They also raised Albert Emery, Clair and Susana Walker.

Freeman Potter, son of Leonard and Susan (Cole) Potter, married Lavina Rowell, daughter of Levi and Caroline (McFarland) Rowell. Their farm was on the lower part of Percy Plain. Their children were: Eva, Daisy, Harley and Nellie.

Adonna, of "Don" Potter, son of Justus and Hannah (Dodge) Potter, was a farmer, served as selectman, road agent, and representative, and was also active in church affairs. He married, first, Emma Growe, and second, Florence Skiff. Their children were Sybil and Ruth. His third wife was Adelaide Powell. Their children were:  Donald and Robert. His fourth wife was Irene Hamlin.

R. Wilbur Potter, son of Abijah and Mary (Peabody) Potter, married Jessie Lang, daughter of Emerson and Alice Lang. They had one son, Mark. His second wife was Selma Christianson, and their children were:  Roma, Carl and Norman. This third wife was Margaret Goehler, and their children were: Erma, Wilbur and Arthur.

Charlie Potter, son of Horace and Elizabeth (Woodward) Potter,  never married. He ran a blacksmith shop, worked in the woods and farmed with Albert Emery.

Aaron Potter, son of Horace and Elizabeth (Woodward) Potter, like his brother Charlie, never married. Both lived on the home place and were well known as "characters."

William Potter, son of Horace and Elizabeth Potter, married Georgia Smith. Their children were: Ellis, Lois, Vera, Leonard and Alice.

Norman Potter, son of R. Wilbur and Selma Potter, married Opal Gibson, daughter of Robert and Maude (Basset) Gibson. Norman has worked int he woods and on town roads, loves to fish. Opal worked at Granite State Rubber So. They had two sons, Carl and Norman, Jr.

Ellis Potter, son of William and Georgia Potter, married Margaret "Maggie" Collins. Their children were: William, Ellis, Jr., Eva, Elmer and George. His second wife was Olida Charest, and they had one daughter, Sandra.

Carl, or "Toby" Potter, son of Norman and Opal Potter, married Gloria Phelps. Toby works at the Groveton Mill and is serving as road agent.

Norman, or "Bud" Potter, son of Norman and Opal Potter, married Elizabeth Christopher, daughter of Columbus and Shirley (Maguire) Christopher. They had one daughter, Fawn. Their home is the old Blake schoolhouse which has been recently renovated. Bud works in the Groveton Mill and Betty has served as school treasurer.

Ellis, or "Tinker" Potter, son of Ellis and Maggie Potter, married Marjorie Palmer. They had two children. His second wife was Cecile Croteau, daughter of James and Arline (Lettre) Croteau. After her death, he married Opal Potter. They live in Stark Village and run a restaurant in Groveton.

Lyman Potter donated the land for the Percy Cemetery. His home still stands nearby and has been recently renovated. He married Judith Robbins and their children were: Lydia, Carrie (who is now 104 years old) and "Doctor" John.

(This sketch first appeared in Potter Profiles, Volume 8, 1986, page 16-18.)

Covered bridge over the Upper Ammonoosuc River in front of former paper mill in Groveton. The Percy Peaks are in the distance.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Genealogies of the Potter Family, 1888, available for Kindle

Big thanks to Potter Profiles reader Ann Marie Potter ( who shared this bit:  I'm sure most of your readers have stumbled across this, but just in case....there is a wonderful ebook available on Amazon (Kindle) called Genealogies of the Potter Families & Their Descendants in America to the Present Generation (1888, Charles E. Potter). I'm not sure what the hard cover price is but on Kindle it's only 99 cents. 

Thanks, Ann Marie, for sharing this bit.   

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Herman Boerhave Potter, 1786-1804, Connecticut

HERMAN BOERHAAVE (m). Dutch doctor, theorist, lecturer and medical writer (1672-1738), of Leyden; he never came to this country. 

Dr. James and Abigail (Barns) Potter of New Fairfield, Connecticut, named their youngest son Herman Boerhave Potter (1786-1804). Father and son died within days of each other; the expenses of both funerals were listed in Dr. Potter's estate papers (1804-06). Dr. Potter's inventory also included a six-volume set of Dr. Boerhaave's lectures (New Milford Probate #2149), finally distributed to son William Cicero Potter (1773-1856), who himself later named a son Herman B. Potter (Charles Edward Potter,Genealogies of the Potter Families and their Descendants in America [1888], Part 5, p. 3.) (DAR Patriot Index, Millennium Administration [2003], 3:2156 mistakenly gives Mrs. Potter's maiden name as "Boerhave," extrapolating from her youngest son's middle name without taking into account her husband's [and possibly her own] penchant for imaginative naming.)
The Name Origins article, written by Julie Helen Otto, originally appeared in The Weekly Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Issue #645, July 24, 2013.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Stephen Potter, b. 1744 England/Wales; son Thomas Green Potter, b. ca. 1775 VA/SC; Wayman Henry Potter, b. 1816, SC

After reading your Potter Profiles post on Facebook the other day, I decided to check my family tree for Potters. Lo and behold! I found some Potters in my son-in-law's family. So, I'm sending you the information for your profiles blog. 
My son-in-law's 6th great grandfather was Stephen Potter, born about 1744 in England or perhaps Wales. He married, about 1768 in Virginia, Jemima Green. They had at least 8 children among them, Thomas Green Potter. Some researchers report that Stephen served in the South Carolina militia from 24 May 1781 to 14 Jan 1782. Others that he was a mounted soldier in General Pickens' Brigade. He is not listed among in the DAR ancestor database. I have been able to document this assertion.
Their son Thomas Green Potter was born either in Virginia or in Clinton, Laurens County, South Carolina about 1775 (date calculated from tombstone). He married Elizabeth Holland, daughter of  and William Holland and Ann Wayman, 1 Dec 1814 in Clinton, Laurens County, South Carolina. Elizabeth died in 1844. There is an obituary for Thomas which lists him as a native of Virginia. It also states that he lived in Spartanburg and Laurens. Deacon Potter "for a period of forty years he was an exemplary member of the Methodist Episcopal Church."
Thomas and Elizabeth had the following children:
     Wayman Henry Potter 1816-1890
     Nancy Holland Potter 1819-1886
     Thomas Coke Potter  1821-1902
     Allen T. Potter 1824-1892
     Francis Asbury Potter 1826- 1900
     George Whitefield Potter 1828 - 1901
     Elizabeth Holland Potter 1830 - 1889
The 1820 Census for Spartanburg, Spartanburg, South Carolina, enumerated 7 Aug 1820, lists a Thos G Potter with a household including: 2 free white males under 10; 1 free white male 26-44; 1 free white female under 10; 1 free white female 16-25; on male slave 14-25.
The 1830 Census for Spartanburg enumerates a Thos G Potter household including: 2 free white males under 5; 2 white males 5-9; 3 free white males 10-14; 1 free white male 40-49; 1 free white female 10-14; 1 free white female 30-39 and 1 male slave 24-35.
The 1840 Census for Laurens, South Carolina lists a Thomas Potter in a household with 1 free white male 50-59; 1 free white male 20-20; 2 free white males 15-19; 2 free males 10-14; 1 free white female 10-14; 1 free white female 15-19; 1 free white female 20-29; 1 free white female 50-59; and 1 male slave 36-54.
The 1850 Census for Laurens, South Carolina lists a Thomas Potter, age 60, male, farmer, value of real estate 3100, birthplace Virginia. Also living in the household as  Frances A Potter, age 24, Birthplace South Carolina, male; George W. Potter, age 22, male; Elizabeth Potter, age 20 female.
My son-in-law's line descends from Wayman Henry Potter, born 17 Oct 1816 in Cross Anchor, Spartanburg, South Carolina. He married Elizabeth Jane Simpson about 1840 in Clinton, Laurens County, South Carolina.
The family had at least five children all born in South Carolina
     Mary J. Potter 1843
     Nancy Potter   1845
     Thomas Asbury Potter 1846-1919
     Sarah Potter 1849
     Amanda B. Potter 1854-1935
The family emigrated to Ouachita County, Arkansas about 1858.
Amanda Bailey Potter, my son-in-law's 3rd great grandmother, was born 12 Feb 1854 in South Carolina. She married Robert Weir Copeland (1852-1921) in 1874. The family made their home in Jackson, Nevada County, Arkansas and she lived in the county the rest of her life. The Copelands had six children:
     S. E. Copeland 1876
     Fannie Bailey Copeland 1879-1921
     Edgar W Copeland 1881
     Joe Bell Copeland 1884
     Amry R Copeland 1889
     Lizzie Faye Copeland 1893-1978
My son-in-law descends form Fannie Bailey Copeland so I do not have any additional information on Potters. Perhaps, you have information on Stephen Potter's Revolutionary War service in the South Carolina militia in your earlier Potter Profiles collection.

Cecily Cone Kelly,

Monday, July 22, 2013

William Potter & Sarah Randall Married 1787 In ??

Back in 1986, when I was actively collecting and compiling Potter Profiles, I decided to look at the microfilm for all the Potters listed in the Revolutionary War Pension index.......... accordingly I spent hours scanning those films, listing out the soldiers and trying to pick out some identifying information.

Nearing the end, and looking at one of the files for William Potter (and there were several), I found a Bible record that had been sent to Washington DC most likely to support a claim. Here is the information from that Bible record page:

In the center:  William Potter was born the 3rd of September in the year of our Lord 1750 and married Sarah Randall the 30th of January in the year 1787............. Sarah Potter wife of William Potter was born the 28th day of July in the year 1766...... William Potter died December the 9th 1815 aged 55 years............. William Murray, January 5th 1804

Down the left side:  Two sons born the 5th of April 1732 the one lived eighteen hours and the other eighteen days..... one son born the 3rd of April 1792 and lived six days........... Hannah Potter was born the 17th of May in the year of our Lord 1781........ Rebekah Randall Potter born the 29th of December 1792 and died the 14th of April 1794............. born my daughter the 10th day of March and died the 21st 1795............. Rebekah Randall Potter was born the 25th day of April in the year of our Lord 1790.

Down the right side:  Sally Sherman Potter born the 9th of December in the year 1797.... William Potter, Jun. born the 12th of December in the year 1799......... Betsey Potter born the 23rd of October in the year of our Lord 1808......... Rufus Potter born the 7th day of August in the year of our Lord 1804...... Hannah Eggabroat daughter of Wm Potter died December the 11th 1835 aged 44 years.

Seems to me that there is more than one family included here. A couple married in 1787 cannot be having sons born 1732 or 1781..................... and who is William Murray?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lorenzo Tucker Potter Buried at Beaufort National Cemetery, 1872


I am not related to Potter but have been researching Lorenzo Tucker Potter and his wife Eliza because of their 1870 memorials at the Beaufort National Cemetery honoring Union soldiers in the Civil War who died primarily at the Charleston Race Course prison in 1864-1865. An ancestor of mine died as a prisoner there and is, purportedly, one of the 175 soldiers names on the memorial. Eliza tended to Union soldiers at the prison.

I am writing only to see if what I have might be known/confirmed by others - I am not certain of all of this. 

Eliza McGuffin was born in Ireland to Scottish parents and a number of references suggest she was born in Scotland. I recently located the 1850 census in St Michael and St Phillip Parish (Charleston) SC where Eliza E Abbott, born Ireland, was listed with Anna Dennison 14, Julia E Dennison 5, Frederick P Dennison 3, Mary A Dennison 0 and John C Abbott 30. In the 1860 census L T (Lorenzo Tucker) Potter is listed with Eliza and Julia Potter 15, Frederick Potter 13, Mary Potter 10, Earl Potter 3, Lorence Potter 1 and Lily Potter 1. 

There are records indicating that Lorenzo Tucker Potter married Mary Waterman Abbott and she died 1846. I am postulating that Eliza McGuffin married(1) ??-?? Dennison then married(2 or 3) Lorenzo Tucker Potter about 1855 who adopted 3 children and their first child was Earl Frothingham (L T Potter's mother's maiden name) Potter.

Julia Potter died 1861 age 16 in Charleston of disease and Frederick Potter died 1863 age 16 of head injuries sustained when schoolmates wanted the Union flag in his pocket which he would not give to them. They are buried in Charleston and their names are on the one headstone.

L T Potter died 1872 and is buried in Rhode Island. In 1876 Eliza was awarded $20,000 in the legal case 'Potter vs United States' for compensation of seizure of assets at the end of the Civil War. Eliza was living in Iowa in 1895 with her son Earl and I located a record suggesting Eliza died in Massachusetts 1907. I have not been able to locate her burial location. Eliza's son, Earl, at a ceremony in Washington, DC, was presented a book, signed by Clara Barton, which honored, among others, Eliza Potter for her efforts tending to Union soldiers in Charleston.

FYI - Marshall Woodward,  email

If you are able to help Marshall with his project, please do contact him. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Julia Octavio Potter, Lowell Mills, Massachusetts, 1845

When I toured the Lowell National Historic Park last May 2013 (Lowell, Massachusetts) I found this posted mention of Julia Octavio Potter who signed a protest petition on 15 Jan 1845. Hopefully someone reading this post will recognize her and contact me to identify her. I thought that "Octavio" was a most unusual middle name and must be/might be a good clue?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mr. Potter, Ventriloquist, Massachusetts, 1830 ??

"Mr. Potter, The American Ventriloquist, begs leave most respectfully to inform the Ladies and gentlemen of (blank) that he has returned after an absence of four years and hopes, by his exertions to please, to receive the patronage of a generous and enlightened public."

"Mr. Potter will (also) bring forward 100 curious but mysterious Experiments with eggs, money, fruit, birds, boxes, etc.. Among which will be presented the Philosophical Paper, that changes to various shapes, The Mysterious Dollars, and DECEPTIVE BALL, The Enchanted Egg, that dances a hornpipe with all the appearance of life....."

I visited Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts in May 2013. It's meant to replicate a typical New England village of 1830 and it was a delightful place to visit. This poster was glued to the wall outside the general store (that sold ice cream cones). Was there really a Mr. Potter, Ventriloquist?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

George Potter, Today in Missouri

My sister-in-law lives in Kansas City and sent this notice to me. I wonder how many, if any, of the sales items were family heirloom items vs. his collections??? Would have been fun to attend.  Do be sure to click the link to learn more about George Potter, Jr., who was born in 1930. 

Centuries Old Antiques...
and Modern Art

The George Potter Jr. Estate

A tagged Estate Sale inside the Potters' replica castle at 1239 West 61st Terrace, Kansas City MO. Their unique home is adorned with period 16th, 17th and 18th Century Architectural elements, Furniture Fine Art and much more.

 Thursday, June 13th from 3 to 8 p.m.
Your $20 admission benefits Great Plains SPCA No Kill animal welfare organization.
The folks from Great Plains SPCA will be on hand with tax deductible receipts and organization info.

Additional sale hours for this large event:
Thursday June 20th, 2 to 6 p.m.
Friday June 21st, 10 to 4
Saturday June 22nd, 10 to 3
  • Jacobean Style Oak Tester Bed with 17th Century Elements
  • 17th C. Carved Oak Corner Cabinet on Stand
  • 17th C. Coffer on legs with Carved Busts
  • 18th and Early 19th C. Chippendale and
  • Hepplewhite Side Chairs
  • Early Trestle Base One Drawer Stand
  • Early Elm Stand with Turned Legs joined by stretchers
  • Early 19th C. Mahogany Fold-out Dressing Table
  • 17th C. Pad Foot Queen Anne Stand Table with Carved Drawer Face
  • Taller Narrow 19th C. Bow Front Hepplewhite Chest with Five Drawers
  • Bronze Doré Mounted Boulle Cabinet
  • Bronze Doré Mounted Boulle Lap Desk
  • 19th and 20th Century Wood Vitrine Cabinets
  • A variety of early 19th C. Side Chairs and Arm Chairs in Hepplewhite, Sheraton, Chippendale and other styles
  • Dark Oak Gothic and Linenfold design Beds
  • More not listed
  • Collection of Early Pewter
  • Collection of Modern Torso Sculptures
  • Great Table Lamps in Bronze, Marble, Gilded Wood, Tole, Porcelain, etc.
  • 18th C. Patch Boxes
  • Lalique and other French Crystal and Opalescent
  • 19th & 20th Century Sterling by British Makers and Tiffany & Co
  • Wonderful 18th C. Altar Sticks
  • 19th C. Carved Stone 29-inch Figure of a Lion w/ Heraldic Shield
  • 100s of Pieces of 17th and 18th Century Dark Oak Architectural Elements and Panels including Gothic Motifs, Gothic Figures, Linen Folds, etc.
  • 19th C. Carved Ivory Bust on Plinth (repair)
  • Ivory and Semi-Precious Stone Boxes
  • Wedgwood Queen's Ware
  • Roman Glass Replicas and otherwise?
  • 17th and 18th Century Cabinets and Coffers
  • 18th and 19th Century English metal Mounted Coconut Cups
  • Nearly 100 Pieces of Horse Brass
  • Textiles and Draperies
  • Mink Coats and Capes
  • Steuben 'Teardrop' Martini Glasses
  • Steuben Goblet with engraved Lion
  • Laliqe French Crystal Tumblers
  • Pittsburg Pillar Mold Bottles
  • Very fine English and Irish Cut Glass
  • Waterford Crystal
  • Swarovski Crystal
  • Civil War Soldier Tintype Image
  • 18th C. Whale Bone and Silver Toddy Lifters
  • Gorham' Etruscan' partial set sterling flatware
  • 19th-century carved marble sculpture of woman and child
  • Guilloché enamel Sterling box with Art Deco scene
  • Collection of approximately 50 19th-century Staffordshire fairings
  • Antique quilts
  • Antiquarian books including many nice fine bindings
  • Circa 1890s child size dresser and washstand with pressed designs
  • Large collection of Halcyon days enamel boxes
  • Many Limoges boxes including figural topped examples
  • Many great table lamps including altar stick types and marble with bronze and bronze and cut English and Irish Crystal and gessoed and painted wood, etc.
  • Erotic theme Indian miniature paintings
  • Antique stereo viewer cards
  • Coronation collectibles circa 1914 to 1980s
  • Older Mink coats and capes in as found condition
  • Antique Chinese embroidered robe
  • Royal Crown Derby service plates for Ovington Brothers New York
  • Steinway and sons grand piano serial number 217645, condition unknown. Model M?
  • Antique Brass bugle stamped mark of Henry Potter London 1913
  • Vintage aviation photograph circa 1920s
  • Bohemian Glass Liquer Set
  • Large Set of KPM ARKADIA WHITE very fine Dinner Service
  • Fine Crystal bowl on Stand with Engraved Hunt Scene
  • A number of Obelisks made from a wide variety of materials
  • Finely Painted 19th C. Porcelain Cabinet Cup and Saucer Sets
  • Crown Derby and other early 19th C. Porcelain
  • Collection of 100 English Cottage Miniatures
  • Many sets of Finer Crytsal Stemware with Cut and Polished Designs
  • Meissen Figure Grouping
  • Wonderful Painted Iron Chandelier
  • Collection of Blue Onion Porcelain Pieces
  • Embroidered Chinese Mandarin Robe C. 19th century
  • Early carved wood Crucifix
  • Incredible Lace Table Cloth with Figures
  • Art Deco influence Cocktail Shaker with Tiffany Sterling
  • ANRI 75 Piece Nativity Set
  • Silk Persian Rugs in poor condition

  • Sterling Silver Handle Grape Shears
  • Large Sterling Silver serving trays
  • Sterling Silver Footed Tray with handles
  • Partial sets of Sterling Silver flatware
  • Sterling silver pearl handle child s whistle
  • Sterling silver and Ivory child's Rattle with rhymes circa 1915
  • Coin silver spoons
  • Many small sterling silver frames
  • Lewis Wise hammered sterling baby spoon
  • Set of 10 interesting hoof-form sterling spoons signed Sanborn's
  • Ornate Sterling Castors
  • Silver Plated Candelabra
  • Silver Plated Bacon Warmer
  • Gorgeous Ross and Simons 18-inch strand of large 18mm Pearls (approximate sizes)

  • Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Woman in Blue Dress, Circle of Jonathan Richardson (London 1655 - 1745), measures 45 x 37 inches in large custom frame
  • Oil on Canvas Portrait of Man in a Blue Robe, attributed to Sir Godfrey Kneller, 30 x 24 inches
  • Oil on Panel by Bob Byerely dated 1975
  • Gordon Laite (1925-1978) Ink on Board
  • Mary Jane Beggs (Born 1913 Lawrence KS) Watercolor
  • Jack Garver (Born 1921 Kansas/New Mexico) Abstract Oil on Panel
  • Pencil Signed Etching Attributed to Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
  • Mamie Withers Wintermote (1885-1945) Oil on Canvas
  • Thomas Creswick Watercolors
  • Thomas Bush Hardy graphite on paper drawings circa 1876
  • George Potter Jr. artwork and prints
  • Ken Ferguson Wheel Thrown Pottery Bowl
  • More works not listed
  • The History of The Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire 1776 edition, six volumes, quarto leather, maps and frontpiecece present
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, full red leather bound by Bayton, Bath, England
  • Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers and other Poems, 1863, beautiful padded red leather
  • Library of 19th C. Fine Bindings and Leather Bound Books
  • Art and Architecture with focus on English Architecture
  • Several Arthur Rackham Illustrated volumes
  • Richard Nixon Signed and Boxed Volume The Memoirs of Richard Nixon (damp damage)
  • Vincent Price Signed copy from his library
  • Sizable collection of 18th and 19th century wood engraving bookplates, some hand colored
  • Early indenture on vellum
  • A few 18th and 19th century maps
  • Easton Press Leather Books
  • Massive Collection of Art Books and Reference Material
  • Pioneer SX850 Receiver
  • Pioneer PL518 Direct Drive Turntable
  • A full range of Household Items, Housewares, Small Appliances, China, Pottery, Cookware, Clothing and Bedding
  • A small workshop full of tools and materials
  • Nail Guns
  • Power Tools
  • Good sized Air Compressor
  • More

Monday, June 3, 2013

Wives of Anthony Potter (1627-1689)

Anthony Potter, born about 1627 in England, possible son of Robert, came to the Massachusetts Colony as one of the first settlers. I trace my line back to Anthony (as dubbed Branch 1 in Potter Profiles). Anthony married twice, both times to an Elizabeth, and these two women have been scrambled more than once.

Anthony did marry first to Elizabeth Whipple, daughter of John and Sarah Whipple. She died young (perhaps in childbirth??) and Anthony married second to Elizabeth Stone, daughter of Gregory and Lydia (Cooper) Stone of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Quoting from a letter to me from Barbee Hodgkins, 1986, as published in Vol. 7 of Potter Profiles, Barbee wrote:  "About the wives of Anthony Potter. I fell into the same trap others have not been able to avoid in thinking that the mother of Anthony's children was Elizabeth Whipple. She died without producing any children. In re-reading the will of John Whipple carefully, that document offers the clue in one word. John Whipple describes Anthony Potter as "my sometime son-in-law." In the Deacon Stone Genealogy, both wives are mentioned, clearly stating that Elizabeth Whipple died in 1648 but left no children and that the mother of all Anthony's children was Elizabeth Stone."

I'm positive that a careful combing through the pages of Potter Profiles would find many submissions giving this same documenting information. Let's not any of us perpetuate this error!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Potter Cousins Connect!

I've just connect with a new Potter cousin; only a 9th cousin but who's counting?

Dale Potter Clark and I both descend from Samuel Potter; Dale comes from his son Samuel and I descend from his son David. But we're both direct Potter lines back to a common ancestor. The lineages go;

     Donna                                                             Dale
Francis Harold Potter  (1921-2009)                      Henry Johnson Potter  (1923-2003)
Henry Melville Potter  (1888-1952)                      Woodford Joseph Potter  (1896-1969)
Francis Matthew Potter  (1862-1894)                   Laurin Freemont Potter  (1981-1948)
Matthew J. Potter  (1838-1902)                           George Everett Potter  (1833-1918)
Matthew Potter  (1796-1875)                               James Potter  (1800-1875)
Robert Potter  (1766-1819)                                 Solomon Potter  (1749-1800)
James Potter  (1734-1815)                                   Samuel Potter  (1715-1759)
William Potter  (1715-1747)                                 Samuel Potter  (1690-1728)
David Potter  (1685-1715)                                   Samuel Potter  (1657-1714)
                                       Samuel Potter  (1656 - ?)
                                       Anthony Potter  (1627-1690)
                                       ???  Robert Potter                                  

Anybody else claim cousin-hood with us????

Monday, May 20, 2013

Potter Probates in Middlesex County, MA, 1648-1871

From Potter Profiles, Vol. 9, 1986:  here is the index to the Potter wills filed in the office of the Registrar of the Probate Court in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

Charles H. Potter,  Acton,  1860,  Admin #39615
Charles H. Potter, Concord, 1862,  Admin #39619
Edwin A. Potter, Waltham, 1864,  Admin #39616
Elizabeth Potter, Concord, 1861,  Admin #39617
Ephraim Potter, Marlborough, 1731, Admin # 17804
Ephraim Potter, Concord, 1825, Admin # 17805
Ephraim Potter, Concord, 1826,  Admin #17806
Ephraim Potter, Concord, 1831,  Guardian # 17807
Grace Potter, Concord, 1754,  Admin # 17808
Horace P. Potter,  Lowell,  1862,  Guardian 39619
Jane Potter, Concord, 1837,  Admin #17809
John C. Potter, Newton, 1870,  Will #39618
John S. Potter, Littleton, 1862,  Guardian #39619
Joseph Potter, Marlborough, 1791, Will #17810
Judah Potter, Concord, 1731,  Will #17811
Lucy Potter, Concord, 1854,  Admin #39620
Luke Potter, Concord, 1697,  Will # 17812
Luke Potter, Concord, 1737, Guardian #17813
Maria L.F. Potter, Cambridge,  1862,  Guardian #39623
Mary A. Potter, Concord,  1831,  Guardian #17807
Nathaniel Potter, Elizabeth Town NJ, 1768, Admin #17814
Samuel Potter, ???, 1677,  Inventory #17815
Samuel Potter, Concord, 1800,  Will #17816
Samuel Potter, Concord, 1832,  Admin #17817
Sarah L. Potter, Cambridge, 1861, Admin # 39621
Sarah L.C. Potter, Cambridge, 1862, Will #39621
Sibyl G. Potter, Concord, 1865, Admin #39622
Sophia E.C. Potter, Cambridge, 1862,  Guardian #39623

Hopefully this list will prove helpful to some Potter researcher.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Potter in Port Angeles Washington

This stone is for Calvin Chester Potter, born 1909 and died 1968 and is buried in the Ocean View Cemetery on the west side of Port Angeles, Washington. I took this photo while visiting family in Port Angeles. Out of respect for the family (since it is so recent) I chose not to do any research on Calvin's Potter lineage. 

I would like to point out the homemade tombstone. Tom, the caretaker of the cemetery, explained to me that  many times in the 40s, 50s, 60s and even into the 70s folks were allowed to craft their own flat stone and use pre-formed stamps to make the letters. This gravesite is visited as evidenced by the blue paint in the letters. 

Rest in peace in this beautiful oceanside place, Calvin Chester Potter.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thomas Potter, Mayor of Coventry, England: Branch 40

When I begin gathering information and compiling it into the booklets or volumes of Potter Profiles, I arbitrarily assigned Branch numbers as lineages were shared with me. My personal line was Branch 1. By Volume 3, the numbers were up to Branch 40. By the time I ended up this project, many folks had submitted lineages that tied into Branch 40. Here is a synopsis of the beginning of that branch of the Potter family:

Volume 3, February 1985)

1. Thomas Potter, 1568 in Coventry, England, m. 22 Aug 1598 in Coventry to Ann Fenn.

2. George Potter, b. 1606 in Coventry, m. Frances Coale in 1630 in Wolford, England; they immigrated to Rhode Island and he died there after 1647.

3.  Abel Potter, b. abt. 1640 in Portsmouth, RI, m. 1669 to Rachel Warner; he died 1692 in Warwick, RI.

4.  Job Potter, b.1692 in Cranston, RI, m. 1725 to Meribah Carter; he died 1766 in Warwick, RI.

5.  John Potter, 1731-1782, m. Phoebe...........

6.  David Potter, 1760-1838, m. Elizabeth Vaughn; he served in the Revolutionary War; d. 1838 in IN.

Submission by another (Volume 8, June 1986) carried the line down thusly:

3.  Abel Potter.

4.  John Potter, 1680-1770, m. (1) Joan Dearborne and (2) Phebe Green.

Submission by another (Volume 8, June 1986) carried the line down thusly:

3.  Abel Potter.

4.  Abel Potter, 1682, m. (1) Rebecca Paine and (2) Martha Paine, w/o John Paine.

5.  Benjamin Potter, b. 1713, m. Jemima Williams.

6.  Zuriel Potter, 1740-1796, m. Abigail King.

7.  Thomas Potter, b. 1735, m. Esther Sheldon.

8.  Earl H. Potter, b. 1774, m. Hannah Austin Frothingham.

9.  Lorenzo Tucker Potter, 1817-1872, m. Mary Waterman Abbott.

If you desire more information (and there is way more) do click to Potter Profiles online (see button above.)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Potters in the Scriptures

Always wondered about the origin of the surname Potter. Decided to look up references in the scriptures..... and found a good dozen. Most have to do with a potter/pot making/clay/potter's wheel or with burial in a potter's field. The verse from Jeremiah 18:6 is a good example:  "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel."

Wikipedia gives a concise definition of a potter's field:  potter's field or common grave is a term for a place for the burial of unknown or indigent people. The expression derives from the Bible, referring to a field used for the extraction of potter's clay, which was useless for agriculture but could be used as a burial site.

An additional search for "potter surname" on Wikipedia yielded this:  "potter is someone who makes pottery. The word potter originates from Old English pottere which was derived from medieval Latinpottarius."

What are your ideas about the origin of our surname??? 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nathaniel Frothingham Potter, 1807-1874, RI

Nathaniel Frothingham Potter was born on 15 Oct 1807 in Providence, RI, the son of Earl C. and Hannah Potter. In 1827 he married Sabrina Clark Abbott; they had five children. Nathaniel died at Nayatt, in the town of Barrington, RI, on 11 Jun 1874 and was buried at Swan Point Cemetery.

Mr. Potter's father, Earl C. Potter, was a noted builder of his day. Nathaniel learned the trade from him and at the age of 19 his first contract was the building of the Groton Monument which was considered a great undertaking for a mere lad. Subsequent to the great fire in Charleston, South Carolina, in the year 1844, he and his brothers went to that city and did an extensive business, building the Charleston Hotel and several of the finest blocks. When the Providence & Worcester Railroad was about to be built, he was entrusted with the important agency of securing the right of way. In 1847 he conceived the idea of utilizing the clay deposits near Nayatt and vigorously prosecuted the undertaking of the Narragansett Brick Company.

Source:  Potter Profiles, Vol. 8, June 1986 citing the "Transactions of the Rhode Island Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Industry, 1874 (Providence, 1875)." And Bicknell's History of Barrington.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Potters in Great Falls, Montana, 1884-1920

Janet Thomson is a member of the Great Falls Genealogical Society and is the principle editor of a 2-volume set of books, Early Settlers of Great Falls (Montana), 1884-1920, Stories About Early Residents..., Volumes 1-2. Great Falls is on the upper Missouri River and was first documented by Meriwether Lewis on the historic Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition (1804-1806). He wrote that he could hear the thunder of the falls (which turned out to be a series of falls) from a day's distance. The town of Great Falls was founded in the spring of 1884 and grew slowly until the arrival of the railroad in 1887 and "every person of the 3,500 population of this city turned out to give a grand welcome to the first train."

There are three Potters listed in Volume 2 of this work.... four if you count the spelling "Poter." They are:

Poter, S. and wife Emma had son Howard, age 13, with them in their south side home in August, 1899 when the school census was conducted.

Potter, C.E. was a lineman for the Boston & Great Falls Electric Light & Power Company in 1904-5, as noted in the city directory.

Potter, Clarence, was an electrician who resided at 415 - 6th Avenue South in 1904-5 as noted in the city directory.

Potter, Earl, was a laborer living on the river front in 1896 as noted in the city directory.

I'd bet that the 1900, 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal censuses for Great Falls would list many more Potters. But I did search for "Howard Poter/Potter" in the 1900 and 1910 censuses for Montana and did not locate him. Darn.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Robert Potter, 1800-1842, Colorful Texan

From an article in the San Angelo Standard-Times, Sunday, 5 January 1986.... a spotlight on the Texas Revolution from 5 January 1836.... article by Boy Boyd:

"Colorful was one word for Robert Potter."  The life of Robert Potter, one of the founding fathers of the Texas Republic, can best be described as somewhere between colorful and bizarre. Many of his contemporaries said he had the hottest temper, used the most profane language, had the most damning past, was the most dangerous ladies' man and subscribed to the most radical politics of his era. Of all the heavyweights who make up the pantheon of Texas heroes, he is the only one who carries a supernatural legend with him.

He is more famous in his native North Carolina than in Texas, where he lived for only seven years before being murdered in an episode that spawned an East Texas folks song still heard in the Caddo Lake area. North Carolinians recognize him as the man responsible for a peculiar Carolinian word: potterizing.  Potter was the only sitting representative of the U.S. Congress to ever be convicted of castrating a man.

Potter was born in 1800 into a prosperous farming family near Oxford, NC. At the age of 15, he joined the Navy and served five years as a midshipman. Like most details of Potter's life, his departure from the Navy is shrouded in rumor and mystery. He used his time aboard ship to further his education and physical prowess. He became an excellent fencer and reportedly was asked to resign after killing a fellow officer in a duel. Potter returned to North Carolina and completed law study, taking a bar exam in 1823.

Nothing in Potter's life came easy and practically nothing came without a fight. In 1824, he decided to enter politics and became one of the wildest careers in North Caroline elective office history. A series of insults and counter-insults between Potter and the conservation incumbent (too blurry to read the newsprint). Potter won the seat in the legislature in 1826 and was reelected in 1826. In 1829, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Potter's politics, considered radical for the times, terrified many of the established powers in North Carolina. Among other things, he advocated free education, a much-feared issue in the South, and was a strong advocate of the rights of free blacks. A rumor campaign alleged that he had purchased the votes of about 300 free blacks in Halifax County. He was a Jacksonian Democrat who moved far to the left of the president. He urged the sale of public lands to provide money for river and harbor improvement. His liberal economic views of how to get a stagnant economy moving again were, in many respects, a century ahead of his time.

As an early populist, with solid backing from the working class people of North Carolina, Potter appeared headed for a more powerful political position when his temper struck. For some time, Potter had feared that his wife, Isabella, had been having affairs with two different men, one a 55-year-old minister and the other a 17-year-old youth. Upon seeing the minister in a buggy riding away from his house at an unusual time, Potter hailed him and engaged him in conversation until he was able to loop a rope around the man's neck. In seconds, the minister was hogtied and expertly castrated with a Bowie knife. Potter rode on to the home of the youth, who was similarly surprised and maimed.  The father of the maimed youth took a shot at Potter and missed. Others threatened retribution but Potter's constituency rallied around him.

From the window of his jail cell, he whipped up such emotion among hundreds of onlookers that he was moved out of the county. Potter conducted his own defense in his trial and claimed innocence. He cited the sanctity of the marriage bed as his defense. The working class stayed by his side during the trial. He was finally sentence to six months in jail and fined $1000 for maiming the youth. The other offense was never brought to trial.

Potter had resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives when arrested. Far from feeling at a disadvantage, he won his old seat back in the state legislature in the next election. Unable to beat him at the polls, historians are in agreement that his enemies trumped up charges of cheating at cards. Because of that charge, he was expelled from the state legislature in 1835. Potter then became a GTT man....Gone to Texas.

He arrived in Nacogdoches in July 1835 as war clouds blew in from the west. He enrolled in a militia unit under the command of Thomas Jefferson Rusk and threw himself into the financing of the Texas Revolution, raising funds and supplies for the successful siege and storming of San Antonio. Drawn to the turbulent politics of the time, Potter was nominated to represent Nacogdoches in the General Convention. He was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence and helped to write the Republic's Constitution.

A close ally of Interim President David G. Burnet, Potter was given the awesome task of stopping any Mexican invasion by sea. He was made secretary of the Navy and commander of the defenses of the planned last bastion of the government at Galveston Island. Potter proved to be an excellent choice for Navy Secretary. While much of the initial work of bringing together a fleet of fighting ships had already been accomplished, Potter made sure the Texas Navy was supplied and directed.  Under his leadership, the Navy seized control of the Texas Gulf, captured a number of Mexican ships and kept open the supply lines to New Orleans.

During the mad flight of refuges to escape Santa Anna's army, Potter came upon a group of civilians bogged down in a quagmire of a road. Included in the group was Mrs. Harriet Page. She had picked up her two children and started running when she heard a false alarm that the Mexicans were near her farm outside Velasco. When Potter saw her she had on her best clothes, a mud-splattered black soaked dress, white crepe shawl and velvet trimmed black hat with white satin ribbons. She looked vulnerable and confused.

Potter, always the gallant knight, dismounted and offered to let the woman ride with him. Their lives were forever linked after that ride to a boat destined for Galveston Island. Mrs. Page, it turned out, had a husband in Sam Houston's army, but had vowed never to live with him again because of his loathsome and drunken ways. Instead, she took up residence with Potter. Whether of not she ever got a divorce is uncertain, but Harriet and Robert considered themselves married from that day forward and did not go through a legal ceremony until some years later.

After his tour of duty as Navy Secretary, Potter became one of the most powerful members of the Republic's legislature. He moved to Potter's Point, on Caddo Lake near the San Jacinto River. Potter was a moderator in the regulator-moderator conflicts in East Texas. The moderators were opposed to the vigilante tactics the regulators used in attempting to impose their will in no-man's land of far East Texas, including Potter's Point.

One morning in March 1842, a group of regulators surrounded Potter's house. Harriet tried to get him to stay in the house and shoot it out, but Potter thought his chances were better if he made for the lake and swam out of harm's way. He raced through a hail of gunfire to the lake, while Harriet searched in vain for matches to light the small canon Potter kept for home defense. He dives in ans swam as far as he could. When he broke surface, he was immediately shot through the head. A regulator turned to Harriet and said, "How do you like your pretty Bobby now?" Harriet and friends searched for two days on the lake before finding the body. She found the matches in Potter's pocket.

It is said that Harriet returns to Caddo Lake every year, usually in March, and her ghostly form can be seen searching the lake for the body of her lost love.