US Con -Potter, John Fox - U.S. Congressman, WI

John Fox “Bowie Knife” Potter:
:us34stars:
Born: May 11, 1817
Potter.jpg

Birthplace: Augusta Massachusetts
Father: John Potter 1787 – 1865
(Buried: Forest Grove Cemetery Augusta Maine)
Mother: Caroline Fox 1789 – 1872
(Buried: Forest Grove Cemetery Augusta Maine)
1st​ Wife: Frances Elizabeth Lewis Fox 1818 – 1863
(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery East Troy Wisconsin)
2nd​ Wife: Sarah Lewis Fox 1819 – 1882
(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery East Troy Wisconsin)

Children:
Rebecca Lewis Potter 1841 – 1908
(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery East Troy Wisconsin)
Alfred C. Potter 1843 – 1915
(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery East Troy Wisconsin)
Caroline Fox Potter 1845 – 1850
(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery East Troy Wisconsin)
John Kendall Potter 1853 – 1864
(Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery East Troy Wisconsin)

Political Party:
Before – 1856: Member of Whig Party
1856 – 1899: Member of Republican Party

Education:

Attended Phillips Exeter Academy

Occupation before War:
1837 – 1842: Attorney in East Troy Wisconsin
Death.jpg

1842 – 1846: Judge of Walworth County Wisconsin
1846 – 1857: Attorney in East Troy Wisconsin
1852: Wisconsin Delegate to Whig Party National Convention
1856: Wisconsin Delegate to Whig Party National Convention
1856: Member of Wisconsin State Assembly
1857 – 1863: United States Congressman from Wisconsin
1857 – 1859: Member of House Revolutionary Pensions Committee
1859 – 1861: Chairman of House Revolutionary Pensions Committee
1860: Wisconsin Delegate to Republican Party National Convention
1860: Received his nickname from a duel with bowie knife with Roger A. Pryor future Confederate General

Civil War Career:
1857 – 1863: United States Congressman from Wisconsin
1861 – 1863: Chairman of House Public Lands Committee
1861 – 1863: Member of House Revolutionary Pensions Committee
1862: Unsuccessful Candidate for reelection to U.S. Congress.
1863 – 1866: United States Counsel General to British Provinces
1864: Wisconsin Delegate to Republican Party National Convention

Occupation after War:
1863 – 1866: United States Counsel General to British Provinces
1866 – 1899: Attorney in East Troy Wisconsin


Died:
May 18, 1899
Place of Death: East Troy Wisconsin
Age at time of Death: 82 years old
Burial Place: Oak Ridge Cemetery East Troy Wisconsin
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Historical Society has a way-oversized folding knife that was presented to Potter to commemorate the incident. Roger Pryor, the southern slavery advocate who challenged Potter to a duel, decided to back out of the duel because Potter chose knives as the weapon. "Vulgar, barbarous, and inhuman," is how Pryor's second described the choice.

Here's the presentation knife:

3154.png

https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Article/CS2802
 

Polloco

Captain
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
Correct , it was the second who objected and it was Pryor who challenged Potter.I really don't have the whole details of the duel but it had something to do Illinois Congressman Owen Lovejoy's remark about the 1837 murder of his brother Elijah. Potter made some follow up remarks concerning the Republican Party which were edited out by Pryor. Edited out of what? The Congressional record, a newspaper,maybe? Potter objected. Which led to an argument. Then a challenge by Pryor. Clear as mud.What was edited?
 

Polloco

Captain
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
In 1863 when his congressionsl term ended he declined appointment as Dakota's Territorial Governor. But he did accept the appointment as Consul General to Canada.
 

Polloco

Captain
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
Correct , it was the second who objected and it was Pryor who challenged Potter.I really don't have the whole details of the duel but it had something to do Illinois Congressman Owen Lovejoy's remark about the 1837 murder of his brother Elijah. Potter made some follow up remarks concerning the Republican Party which were edited out by Pryor. Edited out of what? The Congressional record, a newspaper,maybe? Potter objected. Which led to an argument. Then a challenge by Pryor. Clear as mud.What was edited?
Lovejoy gave an anti-slavery speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on April 5, 1860.It was not so much a Pro Republican speech but rather an Anti Democrat speech. The Democrats (Including Pryor) in the audience were infuriated and threatened Lovejoy with physical harm. The Republicans agreed they'd defend Lovejoy. The speech was reprinted the next day in 55 newspapers. This appears to be the beginning of the duel but it would seem Pryor would have challenged Lovejoy instead of Potter. Still not a clear picture of the incident.
 

Polloco

Captain
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Location
South Texas
This is the April 5, 1960 speech by Owen Lovejoy which castigated the Democrats. "The principle of enslaving human beings because they are inferior, is this. If a man is a cripple, trip him up;if he is old and weak , and bowed with the weight of years, strike him, for he cannot strike back;if idiotic, take advantage of him;and if a child, deceive him. This, sir, is the doctrine of Democrats and the doctrine of devils as well, and there is no place outside the five points of hell and the Democratic Party where the practice and prevalence of such doctrines would be a disgrace."
 

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