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Term: Potter, John Fox 1817 - 1899

Definition:

lawyer, politician, Congressman, diplomat, b. Augusta, Maine. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, N.H., studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1837. In 1838 he moved to Wisconsin, settling in East Troy, Walworth County, where he set up a law practice and became active in local Whig and Free Soil politics. He was Walworth County judge (1842-1856), joined the Republican party in 1854, and was state assemblyman (1856). In 1856 Potter was elected to Congress, and served 3 terms (Mar. 1857-Mar. 1863). In Congress, Potter served as chairman of the important House Committee on Public Lands, but gained fame largely because of his personal quarrel in 1860 with Virginia's fiery Congressman, Roger Pryor. In a bitter debate over the slavery question, Pryor challenged Potter to a duel, and the northern sympathizers took Potter to their hearts when he chose as weapons bowie knives at close quarters. Although the police interfered and the duel was not fought, it earned the Wisconsin Representative the sobriquet "Bowie Knife" Potter, and was indicative of the bitter partisan feelings that preceded the Civil War. In 1862 Potter was defeated for re-election to Congress, and from 1863 to 1866 served by Presidential appointment as consul general to the British provinces in North America, with headquarters at Montreal, Canada. In 1866 he resumed his law practice in East Troy, and later retired to his nearby farm in Walworth County. Biog. Dir. Amer. Cong. (1928); Wis. Mag. Hist., 27; Milwaukee Sentinel, May 19, 1899; J. F. Potter Papers.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the John Fox Potter Papers for details.

View a related article at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.

View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]

114 records found

Pabst, Frederick 1836 - 1904
Pabst, Gustave G. 1866 - 1943
Pabst, Norman W. 1905 - 1989
Pabst, Richard E. 1933
Packard, Wesley L. 1918
Padway, Joseph Arthur 1891 - 1947
Paeschke, Charles August 1857 - 1935
Paine, Byron 1827 - 1871
Paine, Col. Halbert E. (1826-1905)
Paine, Edward Lathrop 1801 - 1893
Palmer, Henry 1827 - 1895
Palmer, Henry L. 1819 - 1909
Palmer, William Fink 1855 - 1933
Panys
Panzer, Frank E. 1890
Panzer, Mary E. 1951
Paquette, Pierre 1799? - 1836
Park, Byron Beach 1858 - 1939
Park, Roswell 1807 - 1869
Parker, George Safford 1863 - 1937
Parkhurst, Helen 1887 - 1973
Parkin, John 1918
Parkinson, Daniel Morgan 1790 - 1868
Parys, Ronald G. 1938
Patton, James Edward 1832 - 1904
Patzer, Conrad E. 1862 - 1932
Paul, George Howard 1826 - 1890
Paul, Les 1915 - 2009
Paulson, David E. 1931
Paxson, Frederick Logan 1877 - 1948
Payne, Henry Clay 1843 - 1904
Peabody, Arthur 1858 - 1942
Peavey [Peavy], Hubert Haskell 1881 - 1937
Peck, George Wilbur 1840 - 1916
Peck, Roseline [Willard] [Mrs. Eben Peck) 1808 - 1
Peckham, Elizabeth Maria Gifford 1854 - 1940
Peckham, Elizabeth ["Lila"] 1843 - 1871
Peckham, George Williams 1845 - 1914
Pelecky, Stan T. 1934
Pellant, Howard F. 1911
Peloquin, Bruce S. 1936
Pennings, Bernard Henry 1861 - 1955
Peorias
Pepikokias
Perala, Reino A. 1915
Percival, James Gates 1795 - 1856
Perrot, Nicolas 1644 - 1717
Perry, Melvin Withington 1864 - 1951
Petak, George 1949
Peter, George 1859 - 1950
Peterson, Francis L. 1904
Peterson, James D.H. 1894
Peterson, Merlin J. 1901
Peterson, Richard E. 1920
Petri, Thomas E. 1940
Petrowski, Jerry 1950
Pettis, Mark L. 1950
Petuns
Pfister, Charles [Frederick] 1859 - 1927
Pfister, Guido 1818 - 1889
Philipp, Emanuel Lorenz 1861 - 1925
Phillips, Vel 1924
Piankeshaws
Pickard, Josiah Little 1824 - 1914
Pier, Kate [Hamilton] 1845 - 1925
Pierce, Solon Wesley 1831 - 1903
Pinney, Silas U. 1833 - 1899
Pious, Lois 1938
Pitt, Yvonne (Yvonnie, Vonnie) Jean b. 1928-
Plache, Kimberly M. 1961
Plale, Jeffrey T. 1968
Plankinton, John 1820 - 1891
Plantz, Samuel 1859 - 1924
Plewa, John R. 1945
Plombon, David 1961
Plouff, Joe 1950
Pocan, Mark 1964
Poles in Wisconsin
Pomeroy, Marcus Mills ["Brick"] 1833 - 1896
Pommerening, Glen E. 1927
Pond, James Burton 1838 - 1903
Pontiac, Ottawa Chief, 1720?-1769
Pope-Roberts, Sondy 1950
Poplawski, Stephen J. 1885 - 1956
Porlier, Jacques 1765 - 1839
Porter, Cloyd A. 1935
Potawatomi Indians
Potter, Calvin 1945
Potter, John Fox 1817 - 1899
Potter, John M. 1924
Potter, Rosemary 1952
Pound, Thaddeus Coleman 1833 - 1914
Powell, David Franklin ["White Beaver"] 1847 - 190
Power, Frederick Belding 1853 - 1927
Powers, Mike 1962
Pratt, Morris (1820-1902)
Presbyterians in Wisconsin
Preus, Adolph Carl 1814 - 1878
Preus, Herman Amberg 1825 - 1894
Price, William Thompson 1824 - 1886
Priebe, Kenneth E. 1912
Pritchard, John 1884
Pritzlaff, Fred C. 1861 - 1931
Pritzlaff, John 1820 - 1900
Prophet, The (Shawnee), 1768-1834
Prophet, The (Winnebago)
Prosser, Jr., David T. 1942
Protheroe, Daniel 1866 - 1934
Prown, Katherine Hemple 1963 -
Proxmire, William 1915-
Puelicher, John Huegin 1869 - 1935
Puerto Ricans in Wisconsin
Purdy, William T. 1882 - 1918
Putnam, Henry Cleveland 1832 - 1912

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