Eliza Potter


Biography of Eliza Potter

Eliza Potter (born 1820) was an African-American hairdresser in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1859 she published her autobiography, A Hairdresser's Experience In High Life.

Potter, a mulatto, grew up in New York. Upon marriage she moved to Philadelphia and gave birth to two mulatto children; however, she soon gave up the married life to go "roving". Potter's autobiography provides an intimate glimpse of the experiences of a mixed-race beautician at the hands of her white employers in Cincinnati. She also travelled widely, and recorded the various social customs of New York, Saratoga, Canada, Paris and London.

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