By Larry ChaseBefore an audience of nearly 100 people, Andover scholar John Hodgson described the life of Richard Potter (1783-1835) in an illustrated March 18 talk in Proctor Academy's Stone Chapel. The talk was drawn from Hodgson's research for his new book, Richard Potter: America's First Black Celebrity. A magician and ventriloquist, Potter lived in Andover from 1815 until his death, building a fashionable home near the Potter Place railroad station, though he spent much of that time performing on the road. It was for Richard Potter that Potter Place was named. Those interested in purchasing a copy of the hardcover book should contact Jesse Schust at 454-8947 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Price is $29.95. The talk was co-sponsored by the Andover Historical Society and the Andover Institute.