Meshack Potter, born 1744




Cranston, Rhode Island


Meshack Potter was born in 1744 in Cranston, Rhode Island, to Major Benjamin Potter (born 1713) of Greenwich, Rhode Island, and Jemima Williams. He was one of more than six children born to the couple, the others being Zuriel, Honeyman, Melliman, Susanna, Rebecca, and Jemima.(1)

In 1770, Meshack was identified as a housewright in Cranston when he sued Job Potter, mason of Johnston, Rhode Island.(2) He married Temperance Burlingame (born 1750), daughter of Josiah Burlingame of Cranston, in 1774.(3)

Potter was once again referred to as a Cranston housewright in 1791 when he sold land to Cranston laborers Andrew Stone and Charles Thornton, though thereafter he is called a yeoman or gentleman.(4)

Potter was identified as a gentleman of Plainfield, Connecticut by 1806, when he purchased land there from his son Henry H. Potter.(5) He does not appear to have left Plainfield, though his date of death is currently unknown.

Benjamin W. Colman and Patricia E. Kane

1. William Richard Cutter, New England Families Genealogical and Memorial vol. 4, third edition. (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915), 1906.

2. Meshach Potter v. Job Potter, June 1770, Inferior Court of Common Pleas, Providence County, Record Book, vol. 6, p. 171, Judicial Archives, Supreme Court Judicial Records Center, Pawtucket, R.I.

3. Vital Record of Rhode, Island, 1636-1850.

4. Meshack Potter to Andrew Stone and Charles Thornton, deed, November 12, 1791, Cranston Deeds, vol. 4, p. 297, Cranston City Hall, R.I.

5. Henry H. Potter to Meshack Potter, deed, March 26, 1806, Cranston Deeds, vol. 7, p. 298, Cranston City Hall, R.I.

5. Henry H. Potter to Meshack Potter, deed. March 26, 1806. Cranston Deeds vol. 7, 298. Cranston City Hall.