Richard Potter Biographer to Present at Special Event

Meet the Author on March 18 at 3 PM at Proctor's Stone Chapel

By Larry Chase
Close up of the cover of Richard Potter, America's First Black Celebrity, a biography of an African American who resided in Andover in the early 1800's.

A 318-page biography entitled Richard Potter: America's First Black Celebrity, written by Andover scholar John A. Hodgson and published in February by the University of Virginia Press, will be the focus of a “meet the author” event to be held on Sunday, March 18, at 3 PM in the Stone Chapel on the Village Green in Andover.

The early-19th century Andover resident for whom Potter Place (a village in the Town of Andover) is named, Potter was, according to the book, “the most famous performer of his time,” black or white.

At the March 18 event, Hodgson will describe his 25 years of research leading to the book's publication, and offer a brief illustrated summary of Potter's life (1783-1835) with emphasis on his years in Andover (from 1815 until his death). Copies of the book will be available for purchase at $29.95, with proceeds going to the Andover Historical Society, a co-sponsor of the event  with the Andover Institute. The event is open to the public at no charge. Refreshments will be offered.

For more information about Potter and his biographer, go to