Page:Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography (1900, volume 5).djvu/106

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PORTER
PORTER

time he founded the “Scientific American,” the first issue of which bears the date 28 Aug., 1845. At the end of six months he was glad to dispose of his interest in the paper, and then occupied himself with his inventions. These included a flying-ship, trip-hammer, fog-whistle, engine-lathe, balanced valve, rotary plough, reaction wind-wheel, portable house, thermo-engine, rotary engine, and scores of others.

PORTER, Samuel, clergyman, b. in Ireland, 11 June, 1760; d. in Congruity, Pa., 23 Sept., 1825. He learned the trade of a weaver, and came to this country in 1783, settling in Pennsylvania. He studied theology, was licensed to preach by the presbytery of Redstone in 1790, and held charge of the united congregations of Poke Run and Congruity, Pa., from 1790 till 1798, and then of Congruity alone until his death. He published several sermons, and two dialogues between “Death and the Believer” and “Death and the Hypocrite,” which were republished, with a biography of the author, by Rev. David Elliott, D. D. in 1853.

PORTER, Thomas, jurist, b. in Farmington, Conn., in May, 1734; d. in Granville, N. Y., in August, 1833. His ancestor, Thomas, emigrated from England in 1640, and was an original proprietor of Farmington. He served in the British army at Lake George in 1755, and was captain of a company of minute-men. About 1757 he removed to Cornwall, Conn., and in 1779 he went to Tinmouth, Vt., in both of which towns he held local offices. For ten years he was judge of the supreme and county courts of Vermont, and he was a member of the legislatures of Connecticut and Vermont for thirty-five years.—His son, Ebenezer, educator, b. in Cornwall. Conn., 5 Oct., 1772; d. in Andover, Mass., 8 April, 1834, was graduated at Dartmouth in 1792, studied theology in Bethlehem, Conn., was pastor of a Congregational church in Washington, Conn., from 1796 until 1812, and from that year until 1832 was professor of sacred rhetoric at Andover theological seminary, of which he was president from 1827 till his death. Yale gave him the degree of A. M. in 1795, and Dartmouth that of D. D. in 1814. He contributed to the “Quarterly Register,” and published sixteen sermons, two fast sermons (1831), and abridgments of Owen on “Spiritual Mindedness” and on the “130th Psalm” (1833); and was the author of “The Young Preacher's Manual” (Boston, 1819); “Lecture on the Analysis of Vocal Inflections” (Andover, 1824); “An Analysis of the Principles of Rhetorical Delivery” (1827); “Syllabus of Lectures” (1829): “Rhetorical Reader” (1831, enlarged by James N. MacElligott, New York, 1855); “Lectures on the Revivals of Religion” (Andover, 1832); “Lectures on the Cultivation of Spiritual Habits and Progress in Study” (1833); “Lectures on Homiletics, Preaching, and Public Prayer, with Sermons and Letters” (Andover and New York, 1834; 2d ed., with notes and appendix by the Rev. J. Jones, of Liverpool, London, 1835); and “Lectures on Eloquence and Style,” revised by Rev. Lyman Matthews (Andover, 1836). See “Memoir of Ebenezer Porter,” D. D., by Rev. Lyman Matthews (Boston, 1837).

PORTER. Thomas Conrad, botanist, b. in Alexandria, Huntingdon co., Pa., 22 Jan., 1822. He was graduated at Lafayette college, Easton, Pa., in 1840, and at Princeton theological seminary in 1843, and was licensed to preach in 1844. In 1846 he was pastor of a Presbyterian church in Monticello, Ga., and in 1848 he took charge of the newly organized 2d German Reformed church in Reading, Pa., and was ordained by the classis of Lebanon. In 1849 he resigned to become professor of natural sciences in Marshall college, Mercersburg, Pa., held the same chair when the institution was removed to Lancaster and consolidated with Franklin college in 1853, and was secretary of the board of trustees until 1866, when he resigned to become professor of botany and zoölogy in Lafayette, which office he now (1898) holds. In 1877 he became pastor of the Third street Reformed church of that town, which charge he resigned in 1884. Rutgers gave him the degree of D. D. in 1865, and Franklin and Marshall that of LL. D. in 1880. He is a member of various scientific societies, and was a founder and first president of the Linnæan society of Lancaster county, Pa. His extensive herbarium is in the possession of Lafayette college. His reports in connection with Dr. Ferdinand V. Hayden's collections in the Rocky mountains in 1870-'4 were published by the government, and one of these, “A Synopsis of the Flora of Colorado,” prepared with Prof. John M. Coulter, has been issued in a separate volume (Washington, 1874). He also furnished a summary of the flora of the state to “Gray's Topographical Atlas of Pennsylvania” (Philadelphia, 1872), and to “Gray's Topographical Atlas of the United Slates” (1873). In addition to contributions to the “Mercersburg Review,” he has published a prose version of Goethe's “Hermann und Dorothea” (New York, 1854); translated “The Life and Labors of St. Augustine,” from the German of Dr. Philip Schaff (New York, 1854-'5), and “The Life and Times of Ulric Zwingli,” from the German of Hottinger (Harrisburg, 1857); and contributed several hymns from the German and Latin to Dr. Philip Schaff's “Christ in Song” (New York, 1868). He was an active member of the committee that framed in 1867 the order of worship that is now (1888) used in the German Reformed church in the United States.

PORTER, William Trotter, journalist, b. in Newbury, Vt., 24 Dec., 1809; d. in New York city, 20 July, 1858. He was educated at Dartmouth, but was not graduated. In 1829 he became connected with the “Farmer's Herald” at St. Johnsbury, Vt., and the following year he became associate editor of “The Enquirer” at Norwich. His ambition for a wider field of action led him to New York city, where he first found employment as foreman in a printing-office. He engaged as a compositor Horace Greeley, who had recently arrived in the city, and a life-long friendship ensued. Mr. Porter's cherished project was put into effect on 10 Dec., 1831, when he issued the initial number of the “Spirit of the Times,” the first sporting journal in the United States. It was a novel undertaking, and was not at first successful. In a few months it was merged with “The Traveller,” with Mr. Porter in charge of the sporting department. The following year he resigned and took charge of “The New Yorker” for a short time, and then of “The Constellation.” As these journals gave only a subordinate place to sporting topics, he purchased “The Traveller, and Spirit of the Times” from C. J. B. Fisher, who had united the two, and on 3 Jan., 1835, the paper was issued again under its original name. At this period the sports of the turf and field were held in disrepute, especially in the New England states, and the task of correcting deep-rooted prejudices called into play all the perseverance, tact, and talent of the editor, who was thoroughly imbued with love of the work. The paper was progressive, and was soon supported by a host of wealthy patrons and versatile contributors. Among the latter were Al-