Fanny McNeil Potter (c.1821-1892) was born at Fort Dearborn (an American fort by the Chicago River in what is now Chicago, Illinois) and died in Brooklyn, New York. She was a distant cousin of Mary Baker Eddy and the niece of Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States. In the winter of 1882, Mary Baker Eddy visited Washington, D.C., and her trip included touring the city with Potter, visiting the botanical gardens and the grave of Col. John McNeil, Potter's father, at the Congressional Cemetery. Eddy and Potter remained close and corresponded regularly. Although Potter had intended to take class with Eddy, there is no record of her studying with Mary Baker Eddy or joining the Church.