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Online Library of Selected Images:

Commodore David Porter, USN, (1780-1843)

David Porter was born at Boston, Massachusetts, on 1 February 1780. He entered the U.S. Navy as a midshipman in 1798 and served in the Quasi-War with France and the Barbary Wars. He became a prisoner-of-war when USS Philadelphia was captured off Tripoli in October 1803. Following his release in 1805, Porter commanded USS Enterprise and later was in charge of naval forces at New Orleans, Louisiana.

During the War of 1812, Captain Porter was Commanding Officer of the frigate Essex during her wide-ranging assault on British shipping, a campaign that continued until Essex was overwhelmed by HMS Phoebe and Cherub at Valpariso, Chile, on 28 March 1814. Following the War, Porter was a member of the Board of Navy Commissioners and led an expedition to supress West Indies piracy in 1823-25. He resigned his commission in 1826 and spent three years as commander-in- chief of the Mexican navy. Porter died on 3 March 1843 while serving as U.S. Minister to Turkey.

David Porter was the father of Civil War leader Admiral David Dixon Porter (1813-1891). The two men, father and son, have had five U.S. Navy ships named in their honor, including: Porter (TB-6), Porter (DD-59), Porter (DD-356), Porter (DD-800) and Porter (DDG-78).

This page features artworks of David Porter.

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: 80-G-K-17588 (Color)

Captain David Porter, U.S.N. (1780-1843)

Portrait in oils, possibly by John Trumbull.
Photographed September 1954 by PHC A.L. Brooks.

This portrait is in the collections of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 65KB; 600 x 765 pixels


Photo #: NH 47384

Commodore David Porter, USN (1780-1843)

Engraving after an original painting by Alonzo Chappell, published by Johnson, Fry & Company, New York, 1862.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 118KB; 595 x 765 pixels


Photo #: NH 66661

Captain David Porter, USN (1780-1843)

Stipple engraving by Edwin after Wood. Engraved for the Analectic Magazine and published by M. Thomas.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 109KB; 420 x 765 pixels


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6 November 1998