Chandler E. Potter

Col. Chandler Eastman Potter was a native of East Concord, N. H., born March 7, 1807, son of Joseph and Anna (Drake) Potter. He graduated at Dartmouth College in 1831, taught high schools in Concord and Portsmouth several years, read law, and was admitted to the bar and practiced in Concord. In 1814 he moved to Manchester, where he owned and edited the Manchester Democrat until the fall of 1848, when he sold the paper. From 1852 to 1856 he was editor of the Monthly Visitor and Granite Farmer. In June, 1848, he was appointed justice of the Manchester police court, succeeding Hon. Samuel D. Bell, which office he filled seven years, with honor and credit to himself. He was an able and efficient member of the Historical Society in New Hampshire, and other societies, and author of a very elaborate and correct history of Manchester. His ennobling views of man and nature, and of sound, true principles were always heard with profound attention and delight. He had copiousness of ideas, and his writings were always filled with the thoughts of a comprehensive mind, instructing all who read what he wrote with a ready pen. He was interested in the study of the Indian language, and has written many sketches of Indian character, and was a contributor to Schoolcraft's Indian work. "Col. Potter was probably the best informed man and antiquarian in the state, on all topics that related to the early settlement of New Hampshire." He was genial and social, with a keen relish for humor and anecdote, friendly with all classes. The rich and the poor found in him a true friend in time of need. He was a devoted friend of the militia organizations of the state, and second commander of the Amoskeag Veterans, a company that adopted the uniform of the continentals. They visited Washington during the administration of President Pierce, commanded by Col. Potter, who entertained the Veterans at his home, the McNeil (N. H.) mansion and birthplace of Franklin Pierce, in 1865. A grand entertainment was given them in a large tent upon the grounds.

In Dr. Loring's address to the Veterans he remarks:—

"As a strong, active, and useful son of New Hampshire, he will long be remembered, and when all to whom his form and presence were so familiar shall have passed away,—his associates, his family, kindred, his daily companions to whom his anecdote and good sense rendered his company desirable,—the fruits of his labor as a careful historian and annalist will remain, a valuable contribution to the literature of New Hampshire, a tribute from one who loved every incident of her early and aboriginal and heroic age. To his friends he left an honorable reputation; to his company, a record which will not be forgotten until the history of New Hampshire shall be blotted out."

Col. Potter's last able work, The Military History of New Hampshire, published in 1866, consists of two volumes, from the settlement in 1623 to the close of the war of 1812, with valuable biographical sketches.

Judge Potter married, November 1, 1832, Clara A., daughter of John Underwood, of Portsmouth, by whom he had four children. She died March 19, 1854, and November 11, 1856, he married Frances Maria, daughter of Gen. John McNeil, of Hillsborough. After this marriage he resided at the Gov. Pierce homestead in Hillsborough during the remainder of his life.

Col. Potter loved the society of intelligent and worthy people, and welcomed all without distinction. His domestic relations gave a great charm to his existence. He died at Flint, Mich., whither he had gone with his wife on business, August 3, 1868. After the funeral ceremonies were performed at Manchester, the Veterans met at their armory and passed the following resolution:—

"Whereas, an inscrutable Providence has seen fit to remove from our midst our loved and chosen commander, and we have performed the last sad rites of sepulture over his remains; therefore, be it

"Resolved, That in the decease of their colonel, Chandler E. Potter, the Amoskeag Veterans have sustained an irreparable loss,—that their foremost man from the beginning, who at all times, and under all circumstances, in sunshine and in storms, unselfishly sought to promote their highest welfare, is no more,—and for each one of us to resolve that in our day and generation we will endeavor to follow his example is the highest tribute we can pay his memory. We mourn not alone. Society has lost an ornament; the state a historian whose labors, yet incompleted, in compiling and preserving her military history, will long outlive our feeble efforts."