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George Bryan Porter (February 9, 1791 – July 6, 1834), was an American statesman in Pennsylvania and Territorial Governor of Michigan from August 6, 1831, until his death on July 6, 1834.

George Bryan Porter
George B. Porter.png
Territorial Governor of Michigan
In office
August 6, 1831 – July 6, 1834 (death)
PresidentAndrew Jackson
Preceded byLewis Cass
Succeeded byStevens T. Mason
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1791-02-09)February 9, 1791
Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJuly 6, 1834(1834-07-06) (aged 43)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Resting placeElmwood Cemetery
Detroit, Michigan
NationalityUnited States
Political partyDemocratic party
Spouse(s)Sarah Humes Porter
RelationsDavid Rittenhouse Porter(b)
James Madison Porter(b)
Horace Porter(n)
ChildrenAndrew Porter
ParentsAndrew Porter
Elizabeth Parker Porter
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1812
Battles/warsWar of 1812


Early lifeEdit

Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Porter attended the Morristown Academy. While he and his two brothers were preparing to enter college, there was a student "rebellion" at Princeton and many school buildings had been burned. As a result, Porter and his brothers continued their studies in their father's library rather than at Princeton.


Porter was a major in the United States Army during the War of 1812. He attended Litchfield Law School in Litchfield, Connecticut and was admitted to the bar in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1813. He served as Prothonotary (Chief Court Clerk) in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1818.[1]

A lawyer in Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Porter eventually entered state politics. He served as Adjutant General from 1824-1829; became a Democratic party member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1827.[2]

Porter was United States Marshall for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 1831. Appointed by President Andrew Jackson in 1831, Porter served as the Territorial Governor of Michigan[3] from 1832 until his death in 1834. In this role he accompanied Oneida chief Daniel Bread to the White House to ask President Jackson for alternative land arrangements for the Oneida in response to the 1831 Treaty of Washington, which along with the 1927 Treaty of Butte Morts had reduced Oneida lands by 90%.[4] The trip was successful in that the president agreed to exchange Oneida lands for "better, more fertile" lands.[5]


Porter died while in office on July 6, 1834 (age 43 years, 147 days) during a cholera epidemic in Detroit, Michigan.[6] He is interred at Elmwood Cemetery, in Detroit.

A portrait of Porter was unveiled in November 2015 and hangs on the second floor of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing.

Family lifeEdit

Porter was married to Sarah Humes of Pennsylvania, on October 31, 1816, and had at least four children, one of whom was General Andrew Porter, one of the generals at the First Battle of Bull Run, who married Margarite Biddle of the famous Biddle family.

Porter was the son of Andrew Porter who served in the U.S. Revolutionary War, and Elizabeth Parker Porter. He was also the brother of David Rittenhouse Porter, Pennsylvania Governor, 1839–1845, and James Madison Porter, Secretary of War, 1843–1844, and the uncle of Horace Porter, U.S. Ambassador to France, 1897 - 1905.


  1. ^ "George Bryan Porter". 2010 by the Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Porter, George Bryan
  3. ^ Sons of the American Revolution. A National Register of the Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Volume 2 Volume 2 of A National Register of the Society Sons of the American Revolution: Comp. and Pub. Under the Auspices of the National Publication Committee, Sons of the American Revolution A National Register of the Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution. Press of A. H. Kellogg, 1902. p. 332. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  4. ^ Hauptman, Laurence (2008). Seven Generations of Iroquois Leadership: The Six Nations Since 1800. Syracuse University Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-8156-3165-1.
  5. ^ Hauptman, Laurence (2008). Seven Generations of Iroquois Leadership: The Six Nations Since 1800. Syracuse University Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-8156-3165-1.
  6. ^ Herringshaw, Thomas William. Herringshaw's Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century: Accurate and Succinct Biographies of Famous Men and Women in All Walks of Life who are Or Have Been the Acknowledged Leaders of Life and Thought of the United States Since Its Formation. American Publishers' Association, 1904. p. 753. Retrieved 9 June 2014.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Lewis Cass
Territorial Governor of Michigan
Succeeded by
Stevens T. Mason