Potter Place, NH 03216
Historic Potter Place - The story of Richard Potter
Richard Potter was born in 1783 and is said to be the first black magician in the United States. Potter was certainly the first successful black magician in America. Potter lived 52 years. He was married to his wife Sally and had 3 children. Potter was known for his skills in Ventriloquism, Hypnosis, and Magic and performed throughout New York, New England and Canada.
Some of the effects Potter perfomed during his career included; crawling through a log, frying eggs in a hat, Hindu rope trick, swallowing molten lead, dancing on eggs (without breaking them), and climbing into an oven with uncooked meat and departing when the meat was cooked.
Richard Potter also was an accomplished juggler and ventriloquist. He was the son of son of an English Baronet and an African American serving women (some would say "slave"). He lived with his father in Hopkinton, NH.
Potter moved to Andover, NH in 1814. He lived on a 175-acre farm that he purchased. Potter was often entertaining at home when he was not on tour performing - playing host to lavish dinner parties. The Potter's were orginally buried at their estate, but the house burned to the ground ... all that remains today is a small plot with the gravestones of Richard Potter and his wife Sally. The burial plot was moved to its present location by the town to make room for the railroad. Inscribed on Richard Potter's Stone is "In Memory of Richard Potter the celebrated Ventriloquist, Aged 52 years. Died Sept. 20 1835".
Potter Place is known as the birthplace of Richard Potter. Potter was a well-known ventriloquist - sometimes called the Magician of Potter Place. His burial plot is still located just off of Rouote 4 behind the rail station in town.
Potter Place was served by the Boston & Maine Railroad and the Northern Railroad. New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad cars also plied the rails on "name" trains but never operated north of Massachusetts.
Potter Place - the village is part of Andover, New Hampshire.