- Peter Buell Porter
Infobox US Cabinet official
name=Peter Buell Porter
United States Secretary of War
May 23, 1828
March 4, 1829
John Quincy Adams
successor=John Henry Eaton
Salisbury, Connecticut, U.S.
death_date=death date and age|1844|03|20|1773|08|14
Niagara Falls, New York, U.S.
spouse=Letitia Breckinridge Porter
Peter Buell Porter (
August 14, 1773Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut- March 20, 1844Niagara Falls, Niagara County, New York) was an American lawyer, soldier and politician who served as United States Secretary of Warfrom 1828 to 1829.
He graduated from
Yale Collegein 1791, studied law in Litchfield, Connecticut, was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in Canandaigua, New York in 1793. He served as clerk of Ontario Countyfrom 1797 to 1804 and was member of the New York State Assemblyin 1802 and again in 1828.
In the fall of 1809, Porter moved to
Buffalo, New Yorkand was elected as a Democratic-Republicanto the Eleventh and Twelfth United States Congresses, serving from March 4, 1809to March 3, 1813, but declined renomination. During his service in Congress, Porter served on a commission on inland navigation established in 1810 to survey a Lake Erieto Hudson Rivercanal route, and was a leading figure among Congressional " war hawks" and chairman of the committee that recommended preparation for war with Great Britain.
War of 1812, Porter was initially quartermaster general of the New York State Militiafrom May to October 1812. He participated in and criticized General Alexander Smyth’s abortive operations against British Canadain 1812, culminating in a bloodless duel between the two. The historian John R. Elting wrote of the duel, stating "Unfortunately, both missed."cite book|last=Elting|first=John R.|title=Amateurs, to Arms! A Military History of the War of 1812|publisher=Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill|date=1991|pages=51|isbn=0306806533] He later raised and commanded a brigade of New York militia that incorporated a Six NationsIndian contingent and led his command with distinction. For his actions, he was presented a gold medal under joint resolution of Congress dated November 3, 1814"for gallantry and good conduct" during the Battle of Chippewa, the Battle of Niagara, and the Battle of Erie.
Secretary of State of New Yorkfrom February 1815 to February 1816. He was also elected to the Fourteenth United States Congress. Although his term in Congress began on March 4, 1815, the Session began only in December, and he took his seat on December 11, 1815. On January 23, 1816, he resigned, having been appointed a Commissioner under the Treaty of Ghent, which caused a controversy as to the constitutionality of the appointment or its acceptance. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=imkFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA585 Google Book: "Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856" page 585] ]
He was an unsuccessful candidate for
Governor of New Yorkin 1817, losing to DeWitt Clinton. Porter became a regent of the University of the State of New Yorkin 1824, and served in that capacity until 1830.
May 16, 1828to March 9, 1829, Porter served as Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President John Quincy Adams, and was an advocate for the removal of Eastern Indians beyond the Mississippi. He moved to Niagara Fallsin 1836 and was a presidential electoron the Whig ticket in 1840. He died at Niagara Falls in 1844, and was interred in Oakwood Cemetery.
Porter married Letitia Breckinridge in 1818 and their son,
Colonel Peter A. Porter, became a Civil War hero who bravely died in the bloody Battle of Cold Harbor. He is also the grandfather of Peter Augustus Porterand uncle of Augustus Seymour Porter.
* [http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/Sw-SA/PorterPB.htm U.S. Army biography]
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