Reuben M. Potter to Mirabeau B. Lamar, June 5, 1841
Reuben M. Potter was a customs officer at Velasco and Galveston. In May 1841 he prepared documents in Spanish for President Lamar's ill-conceived Santa Fe expedition. In this letter, he discusses the appointment of Navarro as one of the expedition's commissioners and Navarro's role as translator. In 1844, Potter carried money to Mexico for the relief of the prisoners being held from both the Santa Fe and the Mier expeditions. After Navarro's return to Texas, Potter acted as his interpreter in the state Senate.
Later, Potter became a military storekeeper in the Army's quartermaster department, and was made a prisoner of war himself when the Confederates seized San Antonio in 1861. A loyal Unionist, he went North after being paroled and served as a quartermaster in the U.S. Army in New York, not retiring until 1882. After the war, he made his home in New York and New Jersey but remained a scholar of Texas history, especially the Alamo.
Bexar 5th June 1841
Gen'l M.B. Lamar
The sale of the property of
which the lot you wish to buy is a part has
been stopped by an injunction from the District
Court. I will therefore be unable to purchase
the piece of ground referred to, nor have I yet
been able to find another for sale which would
be likely to suit you. I will however be on
the look out, and perhaps in the course of a
few weeks may find something that will answer.
I regret that I have not been able
to visit you, especially as the form of a procla-
mation which I sent you may prove defective
from my not having been minutely instructed res-
pecting the matter, whence I may have omit-
ted many points on which you wish to touch.
As however Don Antonio Navarro has accepted
the appointment of Commissioner you will be able
to prepare your documents with his assistance
better than mine, for though he is unac-
quainted with English, the aid of an ordinary
Reuben M. Potter to Mirabeau B. Lamar, June 5, 1841, Mirabeau B. Lamar Papers, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.