Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
PORTER, Alexander, jurist, born near Armagh, County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1796" died in Attakapas, Louisiana, 13 January, 1844. His father, an Irish Presbyterian clergyman and chemist, while lecturing in Ireland during the insurrection of 1798, fell under suspicion of being an insurgent spy, and was seized and executed. His son came to this country in 1801 with his uncle, and settled in Nashville, Tennessee, where, after serving as clerk, he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1807. By the advice of General Andrew Jackson, he removed to St. Martinsville, Louisiana, and was elected to the State constitutional convention of 1811. In 1821-'33 he was judge of the state supreme court, and rendered service by establishing with others a new system of jurisprudence. He was elected a United States senator as a Whig, in place of Joseph S. Johnston, deceased, serving from 6 January, 1834, till 5 January, 1837, and during his term voted to censure President Jackson for the removal of the deposits front the United States bank, and favored John C. Calhoun's motion to reject petitions for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. In March, 1836, he made an elaborate reply to a speech of Thomas H. Benton upon the introduction of his " expunging resolutions." He also opposed Benton's bill for compelling payments for public lands to be made m specie, and advocated the division of surplus revenue among the states, and the recognition of the independence of Texas. He was again elected to the senate in 1843, and served till his death. For many years before his death he resided on his estate, "Oak Lawn," of 5,000 acres, on Bayou Teche, and the large mansion, where Henry Clay was a frequent visitor, is still (1888) standing in the centre of an extensive park.Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM