Potter, Mark Milton (1819–1863)

By: Aragorn Storm Miller

Type: Biography

Published: May 27, 2014

Mark Milton Potter, also known as Milton M., state legislator and lawyer, was born in Sherman, Fairfield County, Connecticut, on May 2, 1819. He was the son of William Cicero and Nancy Anna (Hubbell) Potter. On November 25, 1840, Potter immigrated to Texas and arrived at Galveston, and on May 17, 1845, he was granted 320 acres of land in Galveston County. Probably by the late 1840s he married Helen S. Everitt, originally of Alabama. In 1850 they had one daughter, Nettie; she died at the age of six. The 1860 census listed one son, Milton, age six.

Potter established himself as a lawyer and influential politician and represented Galveston County as a Democrat in the House of the Second Texas Legislature from December 13, 1847, to November 5, 1849. During this time he served as chair of the Penitentiary Committee. He subsequently served as a senator in the Fourth through Eighth legislatures from 1853 to 1861. In terms of his politics, Potter was a supporter of Sam Houston and opposed secession. In the 1850s Potter gave financial support to the Filibusters, a group that worked to establish slave-holding states in Central America and the Carribean. In July 1861 Potter was part of a citizens’ committee which left Galveston to petition the Confederate government at Richmond, Virginia, for heavy coastal artillery batteries to ensure against a Federal blockade. He was elected to the House of the Ninth Texas Legislature and served from November 4, 1861, to October 1863. Potter died on October 10, 1863, and was buried in Old City Cemetery in Galveston.

Alwyn Barr, “Texas Coastal Defenses,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 65 (July 1961). Earl W. Fornell, “Texans and Filibusters in the 1850’s” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 59 (April 1956). Legislative Reference Library of Texas: Mark Potter (http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legeLeaders/members/memberDisplay.cfm?memberID=4950&searchparams=chamber=~city=~countyID=0~RcountyID=~district=~first=~gender=~last=potter~leaderNote=~leg=~party=~roleDesc=~Committee=), accessed May 27, 2014. “Mark Milton Potter,” Find A Grave Memorial (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=31513296), accessed May 27, 2014. Gifford White, First Settlers of Galveston County, Texas (St. Louis: Ingmire, 1985). Ralph A. Wooster, “Membership in Early Texas Legislatures, 1850–1860,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 69 (January 1959).

  • Second Legislature (1847-1848)
  • Fourth Legislature (1851-1853)
  • Fifth Legislature (1853-1854)
  • Sixth Legislature (1855-1856)
  • Seventh Legislature (1857-1858)
  • Eighth Legislature (1859-1861)
  • Ninth Legislature (1861-1863)
  • House
  • Senate

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Aragorn Storm Miller, “Potter, Mark Milton,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 06, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/potter-mark-milton.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 27, 2014