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Horace Porter

Horace PorterBorn: 15-Apr-1837
Birthplace: Huntingdon, PA
Died: 25-May-1921
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Old First Methodist Churchyard, West Long Branch, NJ

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Diplomat, Military

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: US Ambassador to France, 1897-1905

The American diplomat and soldier Horace Porter was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, on the 15th of April 1837; son of David Rittenhouse Porter (1788-1867), Governor of Pennsylvania in 1839-45, and grandson of Andrew Porter (1743-1813), an officer in the Continental Army during the War of Independence, and surveyor-general of Pennsylvania from 1809 until his death. Horace Porter studied for a year (1854) at the Lawrence scientific school of Harvard University, and then entered the United States Military Academy, where he graduated in 1860, third in his class. During the Civil War he was chief of ordnance at the capture of Fort Pulaski; then served in the Army of the Potomac until after Antietam; was transferred to the west, where he took part in the battles of Chickamauga (for gallantry in which he received a congressional medal of honor in June 1902) and Chattanooga; and in April 1864 became aide-de-camp to General Ulysses S. Grant, in which position he served until March 1869. He earned the brevet of captain at Fort Pulaski, that of major at the battle of the Wilderness, and that of lieutenant-colonel at New Market Heights, and in March 1865 was breveted colonel and brigadier-general. From August 1867 to January 1868, while General Grant was interim Secretary of War, Porter was an assistant secretary, and from March 1869 to January 1873, when Grant was president, Porter was his executive secretary. He resigned from the Army in December 1873, when he became vice-president of the Pullman Palace Car Company and held other business positions. From March 1897 to May 1905 be was United States Ambassador to France. At his personal expense he conducted (1899-1905) a successful search for the body of John Paul Jones, who had died in Paris in 1792. For this he received (9 May 1906) a unanimous vote of thanks of both Houses of Congress, and the privileges of the floor for life. In 1907 he was a member of the American delegation to the Hague Peace Conference. General Porter became well-known as a public speaker, and delivered orations at the dedication of General Grant's tomb in New York, at the centennial of the founding of West Point, and at the re-interment of the body of John Paul Jones at Annapolis. His publications include West Point Life (1866) and Campaigning with Grant (1897.)

Father: David Rittenhouse Porter (Governor of Pennsylvania, b. 1788, d. 1867)
Daughter: Elsie Porter Mende (author)

    US Ambassador to France March 1897 to May 1905
    Congressional Medal of Honor June 1902

Author of books:
West Point Life (1866, memoir)
Campaigning with Grant (1897, memoir)


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