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John F. Potter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Fox Potter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1863
Preceded byDaniel Wells, Jr.
Succeeded byJames S. Brown
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the Walworth 3rd district
In office
January 9, 1856 – January 14, 1857
Preceded bySamuel Pratt
Succeeded bySolmous Wakeley
Personal details
Born(1817-05-11)May 11, 1817
Augusta, Maine, USA
DiedMay 18, 1899(1899-05-18) (aged 82)
East Troy, Wisconsin, U.S.
Resting placeOak Ridge Cemetery
East Troy, Wisconsin
Political partyRepublican
Whig (before 1855)
Spouse(s)Frances Elizabeth Lewis Fox
Sarah Lewis Fox
ChildrenRebecca (Lewis)
Alfred C.
Caroline Fox
John Kendall
MotherCaroline (Fox) Potter
FatherJohn Potter
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer, Judge

John Fox Potter nicknamed "Bowie Knife Potter" (May 11, 1817 – May 18, 1899) was a nineteenth-century politician, lawyer and judge from Wisconsin who served in the Wisconsin State Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives.[1][2]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter - Easy Piano Tutorial - Hoffman Academy
  • ✪ Harry Potter - John Williams
  • ✪ Harry Potter Theme en Flauta Dulce "Con Notas Explicadas"


Welcome to the Hoffman School of Piano Craft and Wizardry. Today you will be learning Hedwig's theme, a rather famous tune from a movie about a young wizard you might have heard of before: Harry Potter. I would teach you myself, but there is some trouble in the Forbidden Forest, so I leave you in the very capable hands of our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and piano instructor, Professor Hoffman. Thank You, Headmaster. And now, I must be off. Farewell for now. Well, let's go ahead and get class started. Just grab hold of this port key with me, and we'll transport to the piano to start learning Hedwig's Theme. Go ahead! Just reach out and touch it, but be ready for a wild sensation. Whoo! If that's your first time traveling by port key, you may feel a little dizzy or nauseated, but don't worry, the feeling will pass quickly. So let's start off by looking at the keys you need to use in your right hand for Hedwig's theme. Here we have an E; F-sharp; G; A; and B; and that's where you'll place your five fingers of the right hand at the beginning of the piece. Sometimes instead of an F-sharp you'll actually need an F-natural, like here on line two. That little symbol is a natural sign which means play the regular white key instead of the sharp. Let's go ahead and place your right hand over those five notes to be ready, and then you'll notice the first note of the piece is actually played by the left hand which you can tell because it's down here in the bass clef. It says finger four is playing this B, a step below middle C. So, you'll notice that your hands have to kind of share this E, or your your thumbs will both be around there. So just share nicely and your left hand thumb actually doesn't even need to help. It can kind of just rest off the keys like this. So go ahead and find this position, and then let's try and play the first five notes, like this. The left hand starts on B, then E, G, F-sharp, E And a little faster, like this. Now you try. Now, once again. Now you try. Let's focus on the rhythm of the right hand for a second. Throughout Hedwig's theme you'll see this rhythm of a dotted quarter note then an eighth note followed by another quarter note, and that sounds like this I added that half note at the end. Let's do this like five times in a row together, because that rhythm is so important in this song to give it the feel. Can you play that with me? You skip up from E to G, and then just step down in that rhythm Together with me, go Try it again, go Again One more time Good. Now if you need extra practice with that just press pause and keep trying it on your own. Otherwise Let's go on and add three more notes after you have Then you'll notice you have this skip up of the fifth with which takes us up to B, and then we step down to A Skip down to f-sharp, and you notice the A is three beats, so hold one two three, one two three. So together with the B before it we have B A 2 3, F-sharp 2 3. Will you try those three notes on your own? Go. Good now remember to play Hedwig's theme correctly It's not just about playing the right notes you want to play the correct rhythm. So as you're holding those longer notes make sure you count 1 2 3 1 2 3 or the song won't sound correct. Now. Here's the whole first line One two three, one two three. Now Will you press pause and work on that first line on your own try it several times? Make sure you're playing with the correct rhythms and then press play to go on Okay, let's try line two now here on line two you'll notice we start off with this pattern again that we've we've seen before So will you play that with me? Go And that's E, G, F-sharp now here, we have A D-sharp and in order to play the D sharp we're going to use our left hand finger two that's what that LH2 means and D is here. D Sharp would be right here so our LH2 is gonna come up to help on that note Which holds for two beats, and then the right hand, you'll notice it's an F-sharp so the right hand finger two has to move to F natural Did I say natural? It's not F-sharp it's F- natural this time so left hand plays D- sharp and right hand plays F-natural Then left hand plays B, so let's practice those three notes. With me, left hand play F- sharp with finger sorry D sharp with finger two Right hand plays F- natural with finger two and left hand plays B And the rhythm is this one two three, one two three, one two You hold that note for three tied to two more beats, which means you basically add it together five beats Okay, let's try that together get your left hand finger two. Ready go. One two three, one two three, one two Good now. Let's back up and put that together with the first measure of line two Good now press pause and I'd like you to work on that section on your own Once you feel confident with it press PLAY to go on Good okay next up is just like the beginning again. We have this B in the left hand then Bom Bom Bom and now here's where it changes now you'll see we have a B But the changes that it's marked with a finger three and that's because we're going to need to shift up on the piano So you have to move two finger three or you can kind of stretch up like this finger Three is playing B And now your right hand is going to be in this kind of G major pentascale And we play D, then D-flat, then C Those three notes right there are what are called moving by half-step. A half-step on the piano is When you're playing every single note white or black one at a time going in a certain direction Okay, that's called moving by half steps. Why don't you just try that on your piano? Just experiment with moving by half steps It's kind of a cool sound So right here these three notes are moving down by half step, and you're gonna play it with fingers five, four, three, and John Williams does that a lot in Hedwig's Theme. It gives it a really cool kind of magical mystical sound when he does those half-steps Okay, so backing up to the start of this phrase we have Now finger three moves up to B, and D, D- flat, C moving down by half steps Okay, let's start right here on the B with finger three try this with me. Play B, then skip up to D Then step down by a half step Step down by another half step Okay, now all together we have Three moves up Now I'd like to stop there There's more to that phrase But I'd like you to stop, press pause, and just work on those few notes until you feel confident with that Then press play to go on Okay, so you just played D, D-flat, C. Now your left hand is gonna be a helper again It has been hanging out down here, but we needed to come up and play this one G- sharp with finger two Okay So after you play that D, D-flat, C move your left hand up to play that G-sharp And then the right hand is going to kind of shift its finger four down to C for these next three notes C, B, A-sharp, and you'll notice those are three half steps again, but we're using our TAA-TI-TA rhythm Then the left hands got to move down to this A-sharp, and then we finish it out with a G, E Okay done. It's a little crazy This is probably the hardest part of the piece, so let's break it down one more time After we play D, D-flat, C, left hand comes up to play G sharp, and then finger four moves to C, B, A-sharp, those are all half steps, move down to low A-sharp and then G, E Now let's practice this starting with the last two notes, and we're gonna actually work backwards. Can you just use your finger one Which is your thumb of right hand to play the last two notes? Finger one of the right hand for G, finger one of the left hand for E, try that with me That's the ending, so we've got that down right? Good work, now let's back up one more note Now the left hand's got to play this low A- sharp For two beats, and then we come up To finish it. Try that with me: two beats on A-sharp with finger three, go. One two three, one two three, one two, and once again, here's a note with five beats Try it one more time, go: one two three, one two three, one two, good Okay, now. Let's back up Three more notes now. We're gonna add these half steps that move down starting with finger four of the right hand on C We move down by half steps Like this and then left hand plays low A- sharp, and then we add those two notes at the end Okay, try that with me starting with finger four on C go And then low A-sharp then G Good we've almost got it now all we have to do is add one more note before this left hand on G-sharp finger two and Then we jump up here to those half steps low A-sharp, G Good now because this is the hardest part of the whole piece I'd like you to press pause and review that several times until you can confidently play it like this May take you 5, 10, 15 However many times it takes to get confident work on that on your own then press play to go on If you like that is an okay place to stop there is more to Hedwig's theme But if you feel like you've learned enough for it today feel free to stop there if you'd like to learn the rest of Hedwig's Theme feel free to continue Okay, the good news is that the rest of the piece actually uses a lot of the same patterns we've learned so far. This next section starts off with a G and then skips up to B, then you notice it just kind of goes back and forth between B G B G for two measures. Okay, let's try that together starting on this first G on the previous line Go. G B G BG and then here it skips up to C B A-sharp. Do you recognize those half steps? This time the rhythm is a little different, but it's those same three half steps that we played a second ago So we have C B A-sharp So on your own I'd like you to practice this section listen to me play once One two three, one two three One two three One two, and let's stop right there. Okay press pause and practice that phrase on your own then press play to go on Okay for this next section the left hand has to come up to play this F-sharp with finger two and then the right hand is going to do this rhythm we've had before but this time we're on a G. So we have G B A-sharp, so watch that once the left hand plays F sharp Now your turn Good one more time Your turn Good after you play that the left hand goes down to A-sharp for two beats then steps up to B Which is a half step above. One two three And then we jump up to B in the right hand A-sharp B B You try that. Go My turn again. A-sharp B B, your turn Good now putting that all together starting with this F-sharp move down for the left hand Now you try Good. Now the next phrase starts off the same as two phrases ago. We have another G B G and then here it's like our phrase from line three. D D-flat C G-sharp Exact same notes we saw on line three right so this is good We can capitalize on that that hard work we did before. Okay, so let's hear this whole section these last three lines of the piece. I'll play it once and then you can press pause to work on it on your own One two three, one two And that's the whole piece okay press pause and work on that section on your own and then press play And I'll show you how you can put this together with a backing track to make it sound really cool Now once you feel like you have the notes mastered here a few pro tips. First of all What I like to do because the original Hedwig's Theme isn't played this low it's kind of played on this cool cellist sound Which is actually a pretty high instrument so Hedwig's theme I think will sound better if you transpose it up an octave Basically take every note you were playing down here and just move it up one position or octave higher on your piano like this Also earlier I was playing it kind of slow, which is a good way to learn a piece But as you get better you'll want to pick it up to the final performance speed of about this And remember the dynamics are marked piano. The song is meant to be played delicately to give it kind of a mysterious sound. It shouldn't be played heavily. Okay remember it's supposed to sound like Hedwig this owl floating on a breeze, not stomping his Hagrid feet. You know, this is supposed to sound delicate and light Now the final step of mastering this piece would be to play it with our backing track Which you can access from our website and I'll play it for you now. What you'll hear are four little pizzicato string plucks and that is your signal to start after the fourth pluck. I'll demonstrate it for you once and Show you how you can play along with this backing trick Congratulations on learning Hedwig's theme today I'm certain you'll score very well on your piano owl exam later this year Well, I'm off to go supervise quidditch practice, so happy practicing and see you next time I hear we have a new music theory teacher this year. Yeah, isn't his name Drape or something? No, Snape! Quiet, here he comes! There will be no foolish finger flailing or silly songs in this class As such I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is music theory I better write this down Where's my pencil? However for those select few who possess the predisposition I can teach you to transpose any piece to any key with your eyes closed. (Mr. Scuba takes notes) I can teach you Schenkerian analysis, and how to harmonize your way to fame and music glory. Music glory. Then again Maybe some of you have come to Hoffman School of Piano Craft and Wizardry in possession of talent so formidable that you feel confident enough to not pay attention Mr. Scuba, our new snorkeling celebrity Tell me, what would be the secondary dominant of the sub-mediant in the key of B minor? Oh, oh, I know! You don't know? Let's try again. What is the value, Mr. Scuba, of a dotted sixteenth note in 6/8 meter? Please, call on me, please, please? I don't know, Sir Pity. Clearly snorkeling isn't everything, is it, Mr. Scuba. In closing I'd like to say just a few words Fermata Metronome. Pianissimo. Scuba, why so sad? Well you see, headmaster, Snape- -Professor Snape. Right, Professor Snape just told me that snorkelling isn't everything. What am I going to live for now? May I suggest something? Sure, what? Live for friendship and for love Friendship and love? In my experience two of the most powerful forces in the world Even more powerful I might say than music and magic and One more powerful force I should mention to cheer the soul. A delicious treat. How about a Bertie Botts Every Flavour bean? Oh! Sure, thanks That looks pretty safe. Ahhh. Earthworm!


Early and family life

Born in Augusta, Maine, Potter attended common schools and Phillips Exeter Academy. He married Frances Elizabeth Lewis Fox Potter (1818–1863) of Portland, Maine. Her father George Fox (1791–1864) and unmarried sisters would move to Wisconsin and farm alongside the Potters. Their son John Kendall Potter (1853–1864) barely survived his mother. However, their children Rebecca (1841–1908), Alfred (1843–1915) and Frances (1847–after 1900) did survive and have children.[3]


Admitted to the Wisconsin bar in 1837, Potter began his legal practice in East Troy, Wisconsin. He served as a judge in Walworth County, Wisconsin from 1842 to 1846.

A Whig, Potter was elected a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, and served a term (1856–1857). He was a delegate to the 1852 Whig National Convention and 1856 Whig National Convention. With the demise of the Whig party, Potter became a Republican and became a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1860 and 1864.

Member of Congress

Wisconsin voters elected Potter to the United States House of Representatives in 1856 and he won re-election twice. Thus, Potter served in the 35th through the 37th Congresses (1857 to 1863). Potter received his nickname in 1860, as a result of an aborted duel with Virginia Congressman Roger A. Pryor after Illinois Congressman (and abolitionist) Owen Lovejoy's remarks concerning the 1837 murder of his brother Elijah Lovejoy. Pryor had edited Potter's follow-up remarks to eliminate a mention of the Republican Party, to which Potter had objected, then Pryor challenged Potter to a duel, but his seconds objected when Potter chose bowie knives as the prospective weapon, rather than guns or swords (with which many Southerners were adept and used to bully northerners, particularly Republicans). The incident received considerable press, and Potter's friends afterward often accompanied him when on Washington's streets, lest he be accosted again to test his mettle.[4] Potter served as chairman of the Committee on Revolutionary Pensions from 1859 to 1861 and of the Committee on Public Lands from 1861 to 1863. In this latter role, his committee handled the Homestead Act of 1862.

In 1861, Potter was one of the participants in the Peace Conference of 1861, which failed to avert the American Civil War. He was defeated in his race for reelection in 1862 by fellow Maine-born lawyer James S. Brown, a Democrat who had been Milwaukee prosecutor and mayor, and who would defeated the following year by a Republican general. During the campaign, his son Alfred C. Potter had enlisted in the 28th Wisconsin Infantry in August 1862 as a sergeant, but would be mustered out the following April, and began receiving a pension in 1896.[5]

Later career

After Potter's congressional term ended in early 1863, he declined appointment as governor of Dakota Territory, and his wife died in May 1863 in Washington, D.C., leaving Potter a widower with a ten year old son. The Lincoln administration then appointed Potter as Consul General of the United States in the British-controlled Province of Canada from 1863 to 1866. Thus Potter resided in what was then the Canadian capital of Montreal, Lower Canada.

In 1866, Potter returned to East Troy, Wisconsin, where he resumed his legal practice.

Death and legacy

Potter died at his home on May 18, 1899. He was interred beside his wife in the family plot at Oak Ridge Cemetery in East Troy.[6] The Wisconsin Historical Society received his knife.[7]


  1. ^ Appleton's Cyclopedia, vol. VI p. 90
  2. ^
    • United States Congress. "John F. Potter (id: P000465)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  3. ^ 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Walworth, East Troy, Walworth County, Wisconsin and various and entries
  4. ^ Charles E. Porter, Genealogies of Potter Family and Descendants in America to the present generation (Boston: Alfred Mudge & Son, 1888) pp. 35-37, available at
  5. ^ U.S. Civil War records on
  6. ^ Find a no. 6856328
  7. ^ Wisconsin's revised privacy law produces broken link at The Monster Knife of John Fox Potter and minimal reference to Milwaukee Journal article at

External links

Media related to John Fox Potter at Wikimedia Commons

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Daniel Wells, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1863
Succeeded by
James S. Brown
This page was last edited on 10 July 2019, at 13:33
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