Potter Graves at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

photograph by Barbara Spaeth

Owing to his failing health on March 30, 1865 he visited England and France in 1858.  In 1860 he founded in Philadelphia an Episcopal hospital and a divinity school in 1863.  On March 30, 1865 he sailed from New York for California, to help to regain his health.  He was active on his trip and got off at many ports.  On June 29th as the ship neared San Francisco he became very ill.  But when the ship docked on July 1st he was to sick to leave his cabin.  He was diagnosed with malignant Panama Fever.  He died onboard the ship in San Francisco harbor on July 4, 1865.

His notable Lowell Lectures, delivered in Boston, appeared posthumously as Religious Philosophy in 1872.

​​​​Mrs. Alonzo Potter  (Sarah Maria Nott)

Alonzo Potter's Gravestone and Sarah Benedit's

Second wife of Alonzo Potter and cousin of first wife Sarah Nott Potter

 Gravestone found on Find A Grave

​​​​Alonzo Potter 1800-1865 - from Find a Grave

On the wall inside St. George's Episcopal Church in Schenectady
Found on Find a Grave

          Robert Brown       James Neilson      Eliphalet Nott      Henry Codman      William Appleton      Howard      Edward Tuckerman
 Potter                  Potter                    Potter                   Potter                        Potter                   Potter               Potter

                            Frank Hunter           Bishop Alonzo                Maria Louisa                      Clarkson Nott
                                  Potter                        Potter                             Potter                                  Potter

​Alonzo Potter, American bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was born July 6, 1800 in Beekman (now La Grange), Duchess County NY.  His parents were Joseph L. Potter and Anne Knight.   They had nine children one girl and 8 boys, Philadelphia, Paraclete, Joseph, Sheldon, Robert, Beekman, Egbert, Alonzo and Horatio.  Alonzo was the eighth child.

His ancestors, English Friends, settled in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, between 1640 and 16630; his father was a farmer, a Quaker.  Dr. Nott while on a trip for Unions College was spending an evening at of Mr. Potter's rooms.   Joseph said, to Mr. Nott, if you have any interest in my children please read this composition by my son Alonzo.  After reading it, he said, promise me let me have him when he is old enough for college. 

Alonzo entered Union College at the age of fifteen.  In 1818 at the age of eighteen he graduated with the highest of honors.  He was completing a year of theological study in Philadelphia.  When he accepted to combine college teaching and being a reader at the church.  He began his work at St. Georges Church in Schenectady in June 1819.  But after a year is was to much for his health doing both.  He resigned a year later but continued at Union College. 

​​​​​​​Alonzo Potter
( 1800 - 1865 )

From 1821 to 1826 was professor of mathematics and natural philosophy there. In 1824 he was ordained priest, and married a daughter of President Eliphalet Nott of Union College; she died in 1839, and in 1841 he married her cousin.  He was rector of St. Paul's, Boston, from 1826 to 1831, when he became professor of moral and intellectual philosophy and political economy at Union College. In 1838 he refused the post of assistant bishop of the eastern diocese (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island).  He was vice-president of Union College from 1838 to 1845.  After the suspension of Henry Ustick Onderdonk (1789-1858) from the bishopric of Pennsylvania, Potter was chosen to succeed him, and was consecrated on September 23, 1845.  

Click on link below to see 448 pages of the above Memoirs

His youngest brother Horatio Potter (1802-1887) was Episcopal Bishop of New York, created the Community of St. Mary, and was the founder of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.  Alonzo Potter's son Henry Codman Potter succeeded Horatio as Bishop of New York in 1887.

His son, Robert Brown Potter (1829–1887) was a United States General in the American Civil War.

​​​​​​He married his first wife Sarah Maria Nott in 1824, she passed away giving birth to Maria Louisa in 1839.  He married his second wife Sarah Benedict (Sarah Maria's cousin) in 1841.  He survived his two wives and married a third wife Frances Seton before his death in 1865.

Children, all born at Schenectady, New York:
1. Clarkson Nott, born April 25, 1825.
2. Howard, July 8, 1826.
3. Robert Brown, July 16, 1829.
4. Edward Tuckerman, September 25, 1831.
5. Henry Codman, (right Rev.) May 25, 1834.
6. Rev. Eliphalet Nott, September 20, 1836.
7. Maria, March 19, 1839.
8. James Neilson, August 1841.
9. William Appleton, December 10, 1842.
10. Frank Hunter, December 28, 1851.  

​​Alonzo Potter, seated towards left, and his 9 sons and sole daughter.
photograph owned by Trevor McClurg Potter

Sarah Benedict's Grave
Photograph provided by Barbara Spaeth

​Picture provided by Trevor McClurg Potter

Bishop Potter's Gravestone
Photograph provided by Barbara Spaeth

Painting owned by Trevor McClurg Potter

Potter Family History  

Plaque mounted in the interior of  St. George's Church in Schenectady
Photographed with the very kind assistance of Rector Fr. Paul Blanch.

St George Church - Schenectady, NY

Alonzo Potter
for 20 years
Bishop of the Diocese of Penn.
Born July 10 1800 - Died July 4, 1865

Found on Find  A Grave

​​​​​Alonzo Potter - When Rector of St. Paul's Church, Boston

​​In 1846 he established the western and northeastern convocations of priests in his diocese; from 1850 to 1860, when its cornerstone was laid, he labored for the Hospital of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia; and in 1861 he established the Philadelphia Divinity School.  In 1842 with George B. Emerson (1797-1871) he published The School and the Schoolmaster, which had a large circulation and great influence.  In 1847, 1848, 1849 and 1853 he delivered five courses of lectures on the Lowell institute foundation.  He advocated temperance reform and frequently delivered a lecture on the Drinking Usages of Society (1852); he was an opponent of slavery and published a reply to the pro-slavery arguments of Bishop John H. Hopkins (1792-1868) of Vermont.  He edited many reprints and collections of sermons and lectures, and wrote: Political Economy (1840), The Principles of Science applied to the Domestic and Mechanic Arts (1841), Handbook for Readers and Students (1843), and Religious Philosophy (1870).