Augustus Seymour Porter

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Augustus S. Porter
Augustus Porter.jpg
United States Senator
from Michigan
In office
January 20, 1840 – March 4, 1845
Preceded byLucius Lyon
Succeeded byLewis Cass
14th Mayor of Detroit
In office
1838 – March 14, 1839
Preceded byHenry Howard
Succeeded byAsher B. Bates
Personal details
Born(1798-01-18)January 18, 1798
Canandaigua, New York
DiedSeptember 18, 1872(1872-09-18) (aged 74)
Niagara Falls, New York
Political partyWhig
Sarah A. Mansfield
(m. 1822; her death 1824)

Sarah G. Barnard
(m. 1832; his death 1872)
ParentsAugustus Porter
Lavinia Steele
RelativesPeter Porter, Jr. (half-brother)
Peter Buell Porter (uncle)
Peter A. Porter (cousin)
EducationCanandaigua Academy
Alma materUnion College

Augustus Seymour Porter (January 18, 1798 – September 18, 1872) was a U.S. statesman from the state of Michigan.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Canandaigua, New York, the son of Augustus Porter (1769–1849) and his first wife, Lavinia Steele.[1] His brothers were Albert Howell Porter (1801-1888) and Peter Buell Porter, Jr. (1806–1871), and his uncle was Peter Buell Porter (1773–1844), the United States Secretary of War under John Quincy Adams.

He attended Canandaigua Academy,[2] and graduated from Union College, in Schenectady, New York, in 1818, studied law and was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Detroit, Michigan.[3]


Porter became the recorder of Detroit in 1830 and was the treasurer of the Michigan Pioneer Society in 1837.[2] He was elected mayor of Detroit in 1838,[2] resigning in 1839 to run for the United States Senate, and was succeeded as mayor by Asher B. Bates on March 14, 1839.[2]

He was elected as a Whig to the United States Senate, and served from January 20, 1840 until March 4, 1845.[4] He did not run for reelection in 1844.[2] He was chairman of the Committee on Roads and Canals, 1841–1845, and was on the Committee on Enrolled Bills, 1841–1843.[2]

Personal life[edit]

On July 25, 1822, he married Sarah A. Mansfield (d. 1824). Mansfield died a few months after the birth of Porter's only son:[5]

  • Samuel M. Porter (b. 1824), who died in youth.[5]

On September 24, 1832, he married his second wife, Sarah G. Barnard (1807–1885),[6] his cousin and the daughter of Robert Foster Barnard (1784–1850) and Augusta Porter (1786–1833). Sarah was the sister of Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard (1809–1889), a Columbia University President, and Gen. John G. Barnard (1815–1882).[7] She was also a niece of Senator Henry Clay (1777–1852).[8] Together, they had:[5]

  • Jane A. Porter (b. 1833)[5]
  • Sarah Frederica Porter (b. 1836), who married Stephen E. Burrall (1826–1868),[9][5] in 1863,[10][11] and who lived in London in 1885.[7]

In 1848, he moved to his father's residence, in Niagara Falls, New York, and died there on September 18, 1872.[3] He is interred in Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls, New York.[12] Sarah died at Newport, Isle of Wight on April 30, 1885.[5][7]


Through his youngest daughter, he was the grandfather of Guy Augustus Porter–Burrall (1865–1890),[13] a Cambridge University lawyer and Lt. in the English army,[14] and Stephen E. Porter–Burrall (1868–1896), an 1883 Eton College graduate.[15] The family assumed the name of Porter–Burrall, by letters patent from Queen Victoria, on August 16, 1886.[9]


  1. ^ Welles, Albert (1881). History of the Buell Family in England: From the Remotest Times Ascertainable from Our Ancient Histories, and in America, from Town, Parish, Church and Family Records. Illustrated with Portraits and Coat Armorial. New York, NY: Society Library. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f United States Congress. "Augustus Seymour Porter (id: P000437)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  3. ^ a b "Hon. Augustus S. Porter". The New York Times. 3 October 1872. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  4. ^ Press, C. Q. (October 6, 2009). American Political Leaders 1789-2009. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. ISBN 9781452267265. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Andrews, Henry Porter (1893). The Descendants of John Porter of Windsor, Conn. 1635-9 (Vol. II ed.). Saratoga Springs: G.W. Ball, printer. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  6. ^ Leavenworth, Elias Warner (1873). A Genealogy of the Leavenworth Family in the United States: With Historical Introduction, Etc. Syracuse, N.Y.: S. G. Hitchcock & Company. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Obituary 1 -- Mrs. S.G. Porter of Niagara Falls". The New York Times. 29 March 1885. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  8. ^ History of the Buell Family in England: From the Remotest Times Ascertainable from Our Ancient Histories, and in America, from Town, Parish, Church and Family Records. Illustrated with Portraits and Coat Armorial. Society Library. 1881. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  9. ^ a b Andrews, Henry Porter (1893). The Descendants of John Porter of Windsor, Conn. 1635-9. G.W. Ball, printer. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  10. ^ "MARRIED". The New York Times. 14 September 1863. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  11. ^ Staff, New England Historic Genealogical Society (December 1, 1994). The New England Historical and Genealogical Register: Volume 24 1870. Heritage Books. ISBN 9780788400711. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  12. ^ "The Political Graveyard". Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  13. ^ Fairbairn's Book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland. T. C. and E. C. Jack. 1892. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  14. ^ Venn, John (September 15, 2011). Alumni Cantabrigienses: A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108036115. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  15. ^ Chetwynd-Stapylton, Henry Edward (1900). Second Series of Eton School Lists: Comprising the Years Between 1853 and 1892, with Notes and Index. R.I. Drake. Retrieved 10 May 2017.

External links[edit]

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Lucius Lyon
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Michigan
January 20, 1840 – March 4, 1845
Served alongside: John Norvell,
William Woodbridge
Succeeded by
Lewis Cass