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First Name: James

Last Name: Porter

Birthplace: Norristown, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Madison

Date of Birth: 06 January 1793

Date of Death: 11 November 1862

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
James Madison Porter

•  War of 1812


James Madison Porter
Colonel, U.S. Army

James Madison Porter was born on 6 January 1793 near Norristown, PA. As a child he was home schooled, but he later attended Norristown Academy.

In 1809 he began to study law at an office in Lancaster, PA, and later joined his brother, Judge Robert Porter, to study in Reading, PA. He moved to Philadelphia, PA, to become a clerk in the prothonotary's office in 1812.

He helped raise and manage a volunteer militia company to garrison at Fort Mifflin and advanced to the rank of Colonel.

In 1813 he was admitted to the bar and began the practice of law. He was appointed Attorney General for Northampton County, PA, and married his wife, Eliza Michler (1803-1866) in 1821.

Porter was instrumental in the founding of Lafayette College and was President of its Board of Trustees from 1826-52 and Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Economy 1837-52. In 1839, he was appointed to the vacancy as President Judge of the Twelfth Judicial District.

In 1843, President John Tyler appointed him to be Secretary of War, serving for about eleven months. The years that followed after his time as Secretary of War, Porter was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1849, served as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and served as President Judge of the Twenty-second Judicial District from 1853-55.

Porter was president of two railroad companies, the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad Company from 1847-56 as well as the Belvidere Delaware Railroad.

Death and Burial

James Madison Porter died on 11 November 1862 in Easton, PA. He is buried with his wife, Eliza, who died on 2 March 1866, at Easton Cemetery in Easton.

Honoree ID: 2971   Created by: MHOH




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