MICHIGAN TRAILS -
GENEALOGY and HISTORY

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GEORGE B. PORTER
Third Territorial Governoor of Michigan
6 Aug 1831-6 Jul 1834

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Was born at Morristown, Pa., Feb. 9, 1791, eldest son of a distinguished officer in the revolutionary war, Gen. Andrew Porter, and brother to David Rittenhouse Porter, governor of Pennsylvania, and James Madison Porter, secretary of war under President Tyler. He was named in honor of his father's friend, Judge George Bryan, of the supreme court of Pennsylvania, and a prominent revolutionary patriot. Young Porter was educated for the law at Litchfield, entering upon his legal career at Lancaster, Pa. At the time of his father's death he had barely attained his majority, but by close application and and great energy he soon took a prominent position at the bar, becoming attorney-general of his state, and advanced to the front rank of his profession. At one time he served in the state legislature. In June, 1831, President Andrew Jackson appointed him governor of the territory of Michigan, in which capacity he took an active part in the Black Hawk War of 1832-33. Wisconsin, which had before been annexed to Michigan, was made a separate territory during his administration, which was made further notable by the organization of a number of new townships and the construction of many roads. In the year 1832 alone no less than thirteen such highways were authorized by the territorial council. During the same year acts were also passed providing for the establishment of common schools, the incorporation of the Lake Michigan steamboat company, and the incorporation of the states first railroad company, now known as the Michigan central railroad. These improvements attracted the attention of both speculators and settlers, and land values increased accordingly. The territory also made an appeal to congress for ad mission into the Union, but this was not accomplished until later. On July 6, 1834. Gov. Porter died at Detroit, his enterprise and ability having left permanent traces upon the thriving territory.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography: Being the History ... Volume 5 1891
- James T. Whit and Co.

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