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Charity Potter Collection

Identifier: RH-A-3699

Scope and Contents

The letter is from Charity Potter to Emma Clarke sent on July 30th, 1909. Clarke appears to be Charity’s cousin. The letter starts with Charity telling Emma she is sorry for the loss of a close loved one, likely either Emma’s son or husband. Charity tries to give Emma advice on mourning and moving on. Later Charity describes a trip she took across the West to visit friends and family. She suggest that they meet with some other people when Emma feels up to it. Charity also mentions that Emma’s son has returned safely from the Philippines.


  • Creation: 1909-07-30


Biographical / Historical

Charity P. Potter was born Charity Purdy Letts in 1826 or 1827 in March, in New York. She was married to Allen Potter, a banker who was the first mayor of Kalamazoo, MI. She lived to the considerable age of 94 (according to the Kalamazoo Gazette) and was an active member of the community throughout her life. Her husband died in 1885. She was a founding member of the Peoples Church in Kalamazoo MI and the first chairman of the board of charity for the poor. She was also a member and part of the board of directors for the Ladies Library Association, and she was involved in helping to get the Ladies Library Association building constructed. When she died in January of 1921, the Ladies Library Association left her board spot vacant for a year out of respect. The Peoples Church also held a memorial for her in March of that year.


1 letters : 1 letter written on 2 sheets of paper ; 8" x 6", 6" x 3"

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The collection amounts to .05 cubic feet and is contained in one file folder. The collection is composed of a letter and envelope sent by Mrs. Charity Potter to Mrs. Emma Clarke. The envelope is 3 ½” x 4 ½”. The letter contains two pieces of paper folded together. The letter begin on a larger sheet of paper 8”x6 which was folded in half two times. Inside this sheet of paper is a smaller paper which is about 6”x3”.

The condition of both the letter and envelope is good. Care should be taken with the letter and the creases to make sure no damage is done to it.


The collection is composed of a letter and envelope from Charity P. Potter. The collection was acquired through the use of the Starring Endowment.


Charity Potter Collection Finding Aid
Dylan Tilbury
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490