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PORTER, WILLIAM N. (ca. 1813–ca. 1846). William N. Porter, lawyer, soldier, and legislator, was probably born in Tennessee about 1813. He moved to Texas no later than the summer of 1838. By 1840 he was living in the Red River District, and when Bowie County was formed in December of that year, he was elected to represent the new county at the Sixth Congress in the House of Representatives. He was a member of the Tarrant expedition and signed a report of its activities as acting brigadier inspector. Following his term in the House of Representatives, Porter returned to the Red River District, where he entered a law partnership with W. G. Crump. Porter appeared as an attorney in Clarksville when the district court met there in October 1842, but no further references to his activities in Texas have been located. By the spring of 1846, he was living in Memphis, Tennessee, where he helped raise and was elected captain of the Eagle Guards, a mounted volunteer company which joined Zachary Taylor's army in the fall of 1846 and was assigned to guard duty. Porter, who was the company's only casualty during its twelve months service, died of disease sometime between September 1846 and February 1847.


Clarksville Northern Standard, October 22, 1842, December 24, 1845, June 17, September 5, 1846, February 20, 1847. A History of the City of Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee, Vol. 1, by John McLeod Keating; Vol. 2, by O. F. Vedder (Syracuse, New York: Mason, 1888). Telegraph and Texas Register, September 22, 1838, July 27, 1842). Texas Sentinel, July 15, 1841. Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

Cecil Harper, Jr.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Cecil Harper, Jr., "PORTER, WILLIAM N.," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed June 02, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.