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Charlie T. Tomlinson

ventriloquist and magician, was born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the son of Dinah Swain (often called Black Dinah), a slave. Potter's mother was kidnapped by Dutch slave traders during her childhood, sold at an auction, and taken to Boston as a slave by Sir Charles Henry Frankland, a tax collector for the Port of Boston. She had five children while serving in Frankland's household. The identity of Potter's biological father remains a mystery. According to speculation, Potter's father was Frankland. Early church records indicate that Potter's father was a white man by the name of George Simpson. The origin of Potter's name is another mystery.

Potter spent his early years on the Frankland estate in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. At the age of ten, in 1793 he took work on a ship as a cabin boy His travels took him to England where he came across a Scottish ...

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John Patrick Deveney

visionary, spiritualist, Rosicrucian, sex magician, reformer, teacher, and novelist, was born to Flora Clark, a single mother, and grew up in the notorious Five Points section of New York City. His mother, he later claimed, was a descendent of the queen of Madagascar, and his father a scion of the Randolph family of Virginia, signers of the Declaration of Independence and descendants of Pocahontas, but the truth was probably more prosaic. His father was either William Randon or William B. Randolph, neither scions of the Randolphs nor married to his mother. When circumstances demanded it and when it suited his purposes, Randolph denied that “a drop of continental African, or pure negro blood” ran in his veins—“not that it were a disgrace,” he added (Randolph, Curious Life 4 18 At the same time however when he was what he called ...