Mrs. Mary Potter of Schenectady, New York (3/5)




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An historical marker in Oxford, NC, describes how the first school founded there in 1889 to educate African Americans received support from Schenectady, NY benefactor and advocate of equitable educational opportunity, Mary Potter, for whom the school was renamed in 1892. Potter served as Secretary for the Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen-Albany, and donated and raised money for the school which continues to operate within an integrated, public school system. A descendant and relative of many Mary Potter School alumni, historian Cheryl Renée Gooch, Ph.D. explores the intriguing work of Schenectady’s own hidden figure who levered her Presbyterian and social affiliations to garner financial support for the education of African Americans.

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