Poto'mac, a river of the United States, formed by two branches which rise in the Alleghany Mountains in West Virginia, and unite 15 miles SE. of Cumberland, Maryland. Thence the river flows 400 miles SE., and falls into Chesapeake Bay, after forming an estuary nearly 100 miles long, and from 2 1/2 to 7 wide. The largest ships can ascend to Washington, and the tide reaches Georgetown. A few miles above Washington the river forms a cataract 35 feet high; and between there and Westport it falls more than 1000 feet. The scenery here is wild and beautiful, especially where it breaks through the Blue Ridge at Harper's Ferry. The principal affluents are the Shenandoah, Cacapon, and Monacacy.
Potosi (Pot-o-zee'; usually Poto'zee), capital of a Bolivian dep., and a famous, though decayed, mining-town, stands in a dreary, cold, and barren district, nearly 50 miles SW. of Chuquisaca. It is built on the side of the Cerro de Potosi (15,381 feet), at an elevation of 13,000 feet above the sea, and is thus one of the loftiest inhabited places on the globe. The public buildings include a handsome cathedral and a mint which employs 200 hands. The industry is limited to silver-mining. The Cerro is still rich in this ore, although the production has greatly fallen off. Potosi was founded in 1545, and in 1611 had 160,000 inhabitants. Its population does not now exceed 16,000.
Potteries, The, a district in North Staffordshire, 9 miles long by 3 broad, the centre of the earthenware manufacture in England, includes Hanley, Burslein, Stoke-upon-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Tunstall, etc.
Pottstown, a borough of Pennsylvania, on the Schuylkill River, at the mouth of Manatawny Creek, 40 miles NW. of Philadelphia. It contains iron-foundries, blast-furnaces, rolling-mills, car-works, etc. Pop. 15,000.
Pottsville, capital of Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania, is built on the side of steep hills, on the Schuylkill River, at the entrance of Norwegian Creek, 93 miles NW. of Philadelphia. In the midst of a rich coal and iron region it has iron-furnaces, foundries, rolling-mills, machine-shops, sawmills, etc. Pop. 16,500.
Poughkeepsie (Po-kip'si), capital of Dutchess county, New York, on the east bank of the Hudson River, 73 miles N. of New York City, is finely situated on a tableland, 200 feet above the river. The Hudson is here crossed by a steam-ferry, and spanned by a railroad bridge (1888) of masonry, steel, and iron, 3094 feet long, or, including the approaching viaducts, nearly 7100 feet. Poughkeepsie is the largest town between New York and Albany; its manufactures include machinery, iron-ware, silk, boots and shoes, clothing, beer, etc. Two miles N. is the state hospital for the insane, which cost $750,000. Vassar College (1865), for the higher education of women, is just beyond the eastern city limit. Poughkeepsie was settled by the Dutch about 1680; in 1778 it was the state capital. Pop. (1870) 20,080; (1900) 24,029.