David Porter 1780 - 1843 | his
&1808 Evalina Anderson 1791 - 1871
| her parents
of Boston Mass and Chester PA
This is my working hypothesis - the way I see it as
of this moment!!
based on the notes by David Adams
David Porter USN 1780 - 1843
David Porter and Evalina Anderson were married 10 Mar 1808.
David Porter was born in Boston MA 1 Feb 1780 son of
David Porter, the elder 1754 - 1808 and Rebecca Henry 1755 - 1801.
Evalina Anderson was born in 1791 the daughter of Major William
Anderson 1763 - 1829 and wife Elizabeth Dixon 1765 - 1841. Evalina's mother was
a Dixon of Norfolk VA. Evalina wrote the popular song "Thou hast wounded
the Spirit that loved Thee."
The Porters made their home in Chester PA when they
were not absent in government service.
Porter-Lloyd house at corner of Second and
Welsh , Chester, PA
built 1721 by David and Grace Lloyd
in 1799 Maj. William Anderson bought the house
for a wedding present to his daughter Evelina and son-in-law David Porter
who renamed it "Green Bank"
The house was destroyed by an explosion 17 Feb 1882 -killed 18 and wounded 57
[it was being used for a pyrotechnic manufactory by a Professor Jackson]
History of Delaware County -- Ashmead
Children of 'Commodore' David Porter and Evelina Anderson:
David Porter 11 Mar 1809 New Orleans LA - 1 May 1864 NYC
died in St Lukes Hospital NY
from injuries received while in command of gunboat Essex during attack on Forts
Henry and Donaldson
Philadelphia PA Woodlands CC 222 & 223
married 1st Miss Marchant [died early]
she was sister
of the first wife of David Glasgow Farragut, Susan Caroline Merchant
married 2nd 28 Feb 1839 Elizabeth
Ann Beale 6 Aug 1819 - 8 Dec 1886
[Divorced 10 Sep 1861]
daughter of George Beale ca 1758 - 1823 and Elizabeth Lane [Bowie]
2. Elizabeth Porter 5 Jan 1811 Chester PA -
Dixon Porter 8 June 1813 Chester PA - 13 Feb 1891 Wash DC
burial Arlington National Sec 2 #5 Admiral USN
married DC 10 Mar 1839 George Ann Patterson 1819 -
13 Dec 1893
daughter of 'Commodore' Daniel Todd Patterson 1785-1839
& George Ann Pollock 1787-1851
4. Thomas Porter ca 1816 - 15 Jun 1828 near Vera Cruz Mexico
Henry Porter 1817 - 18 April 1846 Lt USA 7th Reg
died near Rio Grande, Texas of wounds received in enemy action
married Elizabeth Lloyd Beall
6. Hambleton Porter died 10 Aug 1844 of yellow fever at sea dsp
Cora Porter 23 March 1828 - Nov 1863
twin of Henry Ogden Porter buried
Philadephia PA - Woodlands CC 222 & 223
married 1842 Gwenn Harris Heap 23 Mar 1817 Chester PA - 6 Mar
1887 Constantinople Turkey
consul in Alexandria Egypt 1856 - assisted
with acquisition of camels for army for use in Texas
8. Henry Ogden [Budd] Porter 23
March 1828 - 22 May 1872 dsp
of Evalina - burial Phila PA Woodlands CC
9. Florence Porter burial 17 Feb 1838
10. Imogene Porter burial Mar 1866 Philadelphia PS Woodlands
married Mr. Harris
- David Porter, made voyages to the West Indies, and was twice
impressed by British ships-of-war, but escaped and worked his passage home.
- On 16 April, 1798, he was appointed midshipman in the United States frigate
"Constellation," and participated in her action with the French
frigate "Insurgente," on 9 February, 1799, receiving a prize for his
- became lieutenant on 8 October, 1799, and served on the West India
- In January, 1800, his schooner, the "Experiment," while becalmed off
the coast of Santo Domingo, with several merchantmen under her protection, was
attacked by ten picaroon barges, but after a conflict of seven hours, in which
Lieutenant Porter was wounded, they withdrew.
- Subsequently this vessel had several successful affairs with privateers and
captured the French schooner " Diane," of 14 guns and 60 men.
- In August, 1801, the schooner "Enterprise," of 12 guns, to
which Porter was attached, fell in, off Malta, with a "Tripolitan cruiser
of 14 guns, which surrendered after an engagement of three hours.
- While attached to the frigate "New York" he commanded a boat
expedition which destroyed several feluccas in the harbor of Tripoli, and was
- In October, 1803, he was captured in the frigate "
Philadelphia" and imprisoned in Tripoli until peace was proclaimed
- On 20 April, 1806, he became master-commandant, and he was made captain on 2
- 1808 - marries Evalina Anderson.
- At the beginning of the war of 1812 he sailed from New York in command of the
frigate "Essex," of 32 guns, carrying a flag with the words
"Free-Trade and Sailors' Rights," and in a short cruise captured
several British merchantmen and a transport that was bearing troops to Halifax.
- On 13 August, 1812, he was attacked by the British armed ship
"Alert," which, after an action of eight minutes, surrendered in a
This was the first British war-vessel that was captured in the conflict.
On 11 December he also took, near the equator, the British government packet
" Nocton," with $50,000 in specie on board.
- He cruised in the South Atlantic and upon the coast of Brazil
until January, 1813, when he determined to destroy the English whale-fishery in
the Pacific, and sailed for Valparaiso, where he learned that Chili had become
an independent state, and that the viceroy of Peru had sent out cruisers against
those of the Americans.
- After refitting he went to sea, and on 25 March captured the Peruvian
privateer "Mercy-da," of 19 guns, which had taken two American
whale-ships and had their crews on board as prisoners.
- The latter were transferred to the "Essex," and the armament and
ammunition of the "Mercy-da" were thrown overboard, when she was
released. One of her prizes was recaptured shortly afterward and restored
to her commander. After this Captain Porter cruised about ten months in the
Pacific, capturing a large number of British whaling-ships.
- The British loss was about $2,500,000, with 400 prisoners, and for the time
the British whale-fisheries in the Pacific were destroyed.
- The captured " Georgiana" was converted into a vessel of war
called the "Essex Jr.," and cruised with the "Essex," under
the command of Lieutenant John Downes.
- Having heard that the British government had sent out vessels under Captain
James Hillyar, with orders to take the " Essex," Captain Porter sailed
to the Marquesas islands to refit, and on his way captured other English
- He anchored in the Bay of Nukahivah, where the "Essex" was the first
to carry the American flag, and named it Massachusetts bay.
- He assisted in subduing the hostile natives, and on 19 November, 1813, took
possession of the island in the name of the United States.
- On 3 February, 1814, the "Essex" and the " Essex Jr."
arrived at Valparaiso.
- On 8 February the British frigate "Phoebe," commanded by Captain
James Hillyar, a personal friend of Captain Porter, and her consort the
"Cherub," also arrived and anchored near the "Essex," and,
after obtaining supplies, cruised off Valparaiso for six weeks.
- Porter determined to escape, and made sail for the open sea; but a heavy
squall disabled the "Essex," which was forced to return to harbor.
- The enemy, disregarding the neutrality of the harbor, followed, took position
under her stern, and opened fire on 28 March, 1814.
- The "Essex" was of 860 tons, mounting 32 guns, with a crew of 255,
while the "Phoebe" was of 960 tons, mounting 53 guns, and had a crew
of 320, and her consort, the "Cherub," which attacked the
"Essex" on her starboard bow, carried 28 guns, 18 thirty-two-pound
carronades, and 2 long nines on the quarter-deck and forecastle, and a crew of
180. Both ships had picked crews and were sent to the Pacific to destroy
the "Essex." Their flags bore the motto "God and country,
British sailors' best rights; traitors offend both."
- In reply Captain Porter wrote at his mizzen, "God, our country, and
liberty ; tyrants offend them."
- The "Essex Jr." took no part in the action, her armament being too
light to be of service.
- The engagement, which was one of the most desperate and remarkable in
naval history, lasted two hours and thirty minutes, and, except the few minutes
they were repairing damages, the firing was incessant. The
"Essex" ran out three long guns at the stern ports, which in half an
hour forced her antagonist to retire for repairs.
- The "Phoebe" was armed with guns of long range, while those of
the"Essex" were mostly carronades.
- Captain Hillyar therefore drew off to a distance where he was beyond the fire
of the "Essex," and then kept his guns steadily at work till the
"Essex" became a helpless wreck and surrendered, having suffered a
heavy loss of men. Captain Porter and Lieutenant Stephen Decatur MacKnight
were the only commissioned officers that remained unhurt.
- The latter, who was exchanged with others for a part of the "Sir Andrew
Hammond's" crew, sailed in a Swedish brig, bound for England, and was lost
at sea. Porter wrote to the secretary of the navy: " We have been
unfortunate, but not disgraced."
- From the "Tagus," which arrived a few days after Porter's capture,
he learned that other ships were cruising in search of the "Essex." to
possess which cost the British government nearly $2,000,000.
- The "Essex Jr." brought the survivors to the United States.
- At Sandy Hook they fell in with the British ship-of-war "The
Saturn," under Captain Nash, who at first treated the crew with civility,
but afterward examined their passport and detained the "Essex Jr.,"
declaring Captain Porter a prisoner and no longer under parole to Captain
- Early on the following day Captain Porter escaped, leaving a message that
"most British officers were not only destitute of honor, but regardless of
the honor of each other; that he was armed, and prepared to defend himself
against his boats, if sent in pursuit of him; and that he must be met, if met at
all, by an enemy."
- With much difficulty he reached Babylon, L. I., and on arriving in New York
was received with distinction, and was given the thanks of congress and of
several state legislatures.
The "Essex Jr." was condemned and sold on her arrival in New York.
- 1819 - Porter moved his family to Meridian Hill [ 110 acres] in DC.
- From April, 1815, till December, 1823, Captain Porter was a member of the
board of navy commissioners, which post he resigned to command the expedition
called the Mosquito fleet that was fitted out against pirates in the West
Indies. A depot was established at Thompson island, near Key West, and a
system of cruising was arranged.
- In October, 1824, upon evidence that valuable goods had been stored by pirates
at Foxardo, Porto Rico [sic], Commander Porter dispatched the "Beagle"
to investigate the matter; but the commanding officer, on landing, was arrested
and thrown into prison on the charge of being a pirate.
- Commander Porter then sailed for the island, landed a force of 200 men, and
demanded an apology, which was promptly given.
- The government, deeming that he had exceeded his powers, brought him before a
court-martial, and he was sentenced to suspension for six months.
He resigned his commission on 18 August, 1826, and entered the service of Mexico
as commander-in-chief of the naval forces of that country.
- He remained in this service until 1829, when he returned to the United States,
having been treated treacherously by the Mexican officials.
- He was afterward appointed consul-general to the Barbary states, from which
post he was transferred to Constantinople as charge d'affaires, and was made
minister resident there in 1831, which office he held until his death.
- David Porter died 3 March 1843 Pera, near Constantinople Turkey. He was
buried 10 Apr 1845 in Philadelphia PAHe was buried in the grounds of the naval
asylum in Philadelphia. He later was removed to the Woodlands CC 222 &
223. will DC 1854 box 23
- A Bill for his widow's relief in 33rd congress (30 Jun 1854) HR 457 and 35th
congress HR 458 Passed house 28 May 1858 $30/mo for 5 yrs.
- Evalina Anderson Porter died 1 Oct 1871 Chester PA in her eightieth year.
will DC 1886 box 99, date is very late
- It is a singular fact that the two most distinguished officers of
the United States navy fought their first battles under his command --his son,
David D., and David G. Farragut, the latter of whom he adopted [not formally] in
- Commander Porter was the author of "Journal of a Cruise made to the
Pacifick Ocean in the United States Frigate ' Essex' in 1812-'13-'14,"
illustrated with his own drawings (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1815 ; 2d ed., New
York, 1822), and "Constantinople and its Environs," by an American
long resident (2 vols., 1835).
- See "Trial of Commodore David Porter before a Court-Martial "
(Washington, 1825). His life was written by his son David D.(Albany, 1875).
Columbian Centinel Oct. 14 1826 1 1/2 folio columns of text on front page.
The article appears in the 'By the Mails' section. It deals with Sec. of
Navy Southard's behavior toward Commodore Porter, and material on his
Just a side note. David Porter was a midshipman on the
Truxtun's capture of the L'Insurgente. As he tells it he saved the day by
cutting away the running rigging of the damaged foretop, saving the mast and
allowing the ship to maneuver. D Adams
Sources and Ref:
Ashmead - History of Delaware County
Martin - History of Chester
Notes from David Adams
2nd page: Descendants
of 'Commodore' David Porter