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 grandfather, Dr. Joshua Porter, a physician in Salisbury, Connecticut, and a graduate of Yale College, was colonel of a regiment in the Revolutionary war, and took part in the battle of Saratoga. His father, Major-General Peter B. Porter, also born in Connecticut, an officer of great distinction in the war of 1812, bore a most important part in the military events on the Northern frontier, and at the battles of Lundy's Lane and the sortie from Fort Erie gained a name for courage and conduct which the historian of that period called upon his son, while yet an infant, to emulate. Later in life General Porter occupied the office of Secretary of War under John Quincy Adams. Colonel Porter was born at Black Rock, near Buffalo, New York, on July 14, 1827. His mother was Letitia Grayson, daughter of John Breckenridge, of Kentucky, Attorney-Genearl under Jefferson, and was widely known as a person of the highest principles and benevolence. He had the misfortune to lose her when he was only four years old, her place being thenceforth supplied by the tender affection of an only sister. At the age of seventeen he lost his father, and was thus early initiated into the responsibilities of life. He entered Harvard University, in the Sophomore class, in 1842, graduating in 1845. After this, he spent several years in Europe, as a student at the Universities of Heidelberg, Berlin, and Breslau. On his return, in 1852, he married (March 30th) his cousin, Miss Mary C. Breckenridge, a lady greatly respected and beloved by all who knew her, but who was taken from him by death in the short space of two years. In 1855 he returned to Europe, spending the winter at Ems and Paris. In 1859 he married Miss Josephine M. Morris of New York,— who as his widow survives him,— and had but just entered upon that happy home-life which it was his greatest pleasure to cultivate and embellish, when the call came which was to devote him to his country.1
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