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Robert Potter (1799-1842)
Prints and Photographs Collection,
Texas State Library and Archives Commission. #1934/013-10.
Robert Potter, a native of North Carolina, had served in the United States Navy as a youngster. He resigned to study law, but his legal and political career were destroyed in 1831, when he attacked and maimed his wife's cousin and another man in a fit of jealous rage. His wife divorced him, and Potter served six months in jail.
Potter came to Texas in 1835 to make a new start. He offered his services to the Texas Navy, to Thomas J. Rusk's volunteers, and to the Convention of 1836, where he became one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
In 1836, Potter served as secretary of the Texas Navy and commander of the port of Galveston. He resigned in 1837. In 1840, he was elected to the Texas Senate. Potter was involved in the Regulator-Moderator feud in Harrison County and was killed in 1842.
Decr 1st 1835
To the Govr & council of Texas
The undersigned being desirous of
serving the country in the present emergency, and
believing from his experience in Naval service, he
could render more effectual service at sea that [than] elsewhere,
has already apprised the Government of Texas through a
member of their honorable body of his readiness to serve
them whenever they can procure an armed ship[.] [I]n the
mean time he solicits of the govr & council a commission
with letter of marque to cruise on the coast of the enemy.
yr obt svt
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Robert Potter to the Government of Texas, December 1, 1835. Texas Navy Papers, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, 401-1195.