Papers of the Baltzley-Potter-Etz family, 1853-1956
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Use
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
2.29 linear feet ((5 file boxes and 1 half file box) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder)
The correspondence of Ann (Baltzley) Hartshorn Potter and her daughter Pearl (Potter) Etz make up the bulk of this collection; also included are business papers and correspondence of Henry Green Potter, photocopies of documents pertaining to Henry Green Potter's military service, and biographical and genealogical information about the Baltzley and Potter families. There is little concerning Ann (Baltzley) Hartshorn Potter's work as an artist. Included in Ann (Baltzley) Hartshorn Potter's correspondence are letters from a young man at Illinois State University in Springfield, detailing the life of a college student; letters from Union soldiers, most in the Army of the Potomac, describing field conditions, battles, and military life; love letters from a number of admirers; letters from Edward B. Hartshorn and Henry Green Potter written both before and during their marriages to Ann (Baltzley) Hartshorn Potter; letters from friends and relatives describing social life in Washington, D.C.; and correspondence among Ann (Baltzley) Hartshorn Potter, Henry Green Potter, and their daughter Pearl (Potter) Etz. Letters to Pearl (Potter) Etz are from her husband both before and during their marriage, and from friends and relatives; one friend in particular, Beatrice Peters, describes the theater scene and life in London, England, during the 1930s. Material added in February 2016 consists of correspondence and several journals of Constance (Etz) Ferdon. Early letters (1931-1935) are letters Ferdon wrote to her parents while a student at Marietta College and after leaving the college in 1933. It documents her educational and social life while at the school and includes many descriptions of friends and classmates. Other correspondence is between Ferdon and her husband while he was on an archaeological expedition with Thor Heyerdahl on Easter Island in 1955-1956. This correspondence includes descriptions of the archaeological dig and interactions with colleagues and locals as well as including updates on the Ferdon children and news of colleagues at the Museum of New Mexico where Ferdon's husband was employed. Journals kept by Constance Ferdon document the time she spent with her husband on an anthropological expedition to Ecuador soon after their marriage. It includes detailed descriptions of the local people, their culinary practices, various weaving technique, the local landscape, etc.
Ann (Baltzley) Hartshorn Potter met her second husband, Henry Green Potter, at her boarding house in Washington; they were married in 1872 at the home of her parents in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Henry Green Potter was born in Warsaw, Indiana, in 1844, and at the age of 17 enlisted in the infantry. He lost a leg in August 1864 at the battle of Jonesboro, Georgia, but he remained in service until the end of the Civil War and was mustered out as sergeant of his company. After the war he moved to Washington, and, through his uncle, E.H. Moore, secured a position at the Land Office. A lawyer, Henry Green Potter eventually became chief of the Mineral Division, Department of the Interior. Following their marriage, Ann (Baltzley) Hartshorn Potter and Henry Green Potter remained in Washington, D.C., where their only child, Pearl Potter, was born in 1875. Henry Green Potter died in Washington in 1911, Ann (Baltzley) Hartshorn Potter in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1929. Their daughter Pearl married Edwin Henry Etz, an optometrist, in 1909; they had one child, Constance Potter Etz. Constance Etz was born in Washington D C in 1912. She attended Western High School graduating in 1931. She attended Marietta College from 1931 to 1933 where she met Edwin N. Ferdon. They both left Marietta College in 1933; Ferdon to complete a BA in anthropology and geology at the University of New Mexico and Etz to complete a BA at Rollins College. They married in 1939 and immediately left for an anthropological study in Ecuador. The couple had three children, Richard, Julie, and Derre. Constance (Etz) Ferdon died in New Mexico in 1969. In 1972 Edwin Ferdon married Lola V. Ferdon. He died from prostate cancer in 2002.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers of the Baltzley-Potter-Etz family were given to the Schlesinger Library by Lola V. Ferdon in February 1988, July 1989, and January 2007.
- Box 1: Folders 1-10
- Box 2: Folders 11-24
- Box 3: Folders 25-38
- Box 4: Folders 39-48
- Box 5: Folders 49-57v
- Box 6: Folders 58v
By: Kim Shively and Anne Engelhart
Updated and additional materials added: February 2016
By: Mark Vassar
- Brothers and sisters
- Easter Island--Description and travel
- Ecuador--Description and travel
- London (England)--Social life and customs--20th century
- Mothers and daughters
- Theater--England--London--History--20th century
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
- Washington (D.C.)--Social life and customs
- Baltzley family. Papers of the Baltzley-Potter-Etz family, 1853-1956: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
- EAD ID
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