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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing),
Porter, Peter Buel 1773- 1844 (search)
Porter, Peter Buel 1773-1844 Military officer; born in Salisbury, Conn., Aug. 4, 1773; studied law, and began practice at Canandaigua, N. Y., in 1795; was a member of Congress from 1809 to 1813, and again in 1815-16. He settled at Black Rock, near General Porter's medal. Buffalo, where he and his brothers made large purchases of land along the Niagara River. A leader of volunteers on the Niagara frontier, he became distinguished for his skill and bravery, and received the thanks of Congress and a gold medal. President Madison offered him the position Peter Buel, Porter. of commander-in-chief of the army in 1815, which he declined. He was secretary of state of New York (1815-16), and was Secretary of War, under President John Qe of New York (1815-16), and was Secretary of War, under President John Quincy Adams, in 1828. General Porter was one of the early projectors of the Erie Canal, and one of the first board of commissioners. He died at Niagara Falls, March 20, 1844.
Smyth, Alexander Military officer; born on the island of Rathlin, Ireland, in 1765; removed to Virginia in 1775; admitted to the bar in 1789; became colonel of a rifle regiment in 1808. His failure to accomplish an invasion of Canada in the autumn of 1812, when he was in command of the American forces on the Niagara frontier, was openly attributed by Gen. Peter B. Porter, in command of the New York volunteers and militia on that frontier, to the cowardice of the former. Smyth, in his report to Dearborn, spoke disparagingly of Porter. A bitter quarrel ensued. The volunteers took the part of their beloved general, and for some time Smyth was in personal danger. He was fired at several times when he ventured from his marquee, and he was compelled to place a double guard around it, and to move it from place to place to avoid continual insults. At length Smyth challenged Porter—his second in command—to fight a duel. It was accepted. They both violated the articles of war in t