Photograph from original at Cazenovia Town Hall - Dr. Stephen M. Potter is seated on the right - circa 1860s.
by Matthew Ballard - posted September 1, 2014
Physicians, sworn to uphold the Hippocratic Oath, rarely take the life of a person intentionally. Instead, they take in their hands the lives of their patients with the sole intent of preserving the person’s physical wellbeing and health. Yet one of Albion’s earliest practicing physicians was forced to deliberately end a man’s life in 1854.
Stephen M. Potter was born October 6, 1794 at Westport, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Potter and Amy Manchester. Benjamin was all but a young man at the outbreak of the Revolution in 1775, nonetheless Stephen’s grandfather faithfully served the fledgling nation as a seaman aboard the brigantine “Hazard” under command of John Foster Williams. Stephen followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and enlisted with the 98th Regiment of New York Militia during the War of 1812, serving as a private in Capt. Plinney Draper’s company under the command of Col. Christopher Clark. Potter was paid $6.70 for his service in October and November of 1814 at Smith’s Mills, receiving his discharge on November 17 of that same year.