Andrew Porter, was born in Worcester, Montgomery County,
His father, Robert, emigrated to this country from Londonderry, Ireland, in 1720, settled in Londonderry, New Hampshire, and afterward bought land in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania.
Andrew manifested a talent
for mathematics, and under
the advice of his friend
Dr. David Rittenhouse,
opened, in 1767, an
English and mathematical school in Philadelphia, which he operated until June 19,
1776, when he was appointed by congress a Captain of
Marines and ordered to the frigate "Effingham." He was soon
transferred to the artillery, in which he served with efficiency.
He was captain until March 13, 1782, and then became major,
lieutenant-colonel, and colonel of the 4th Pennsylvania
artillery, which post he held at the disbanding of the army.
He participated in the battles of Newton, Princeton,
Brandywine, and Germantown, where nearly all his
company were killed or taken prisoners, and where
he received on the field a personal commendation from
General Washington for his conduct in the action,
and at his request he was sent to Philadelphia to prepare
material for the siege of Yorktown.
In April, 1779, he was detached with his company to join General John Sullivan's expedition against the Indians, and suggested to General James Clinton the idea of damming the outlet of Otsego lake, by which means the water was raised sufficiently to convey the troops by boats to Tioga point.
In 1783 he retired to the cultivation of his farm in
Norriton Township, Pennsylvania, (now Norristown) a
plantation called Selma, building an addition to the small
house there and creating Selma Mansion.
He declined the chair of mathematics in the University of
Pennsylvania, saying that "as long as he commanded men
he would not return to flogging boys."
In 1784-'7 he was engaged as commissioner to run the
boundary-lines of Pennsylvania,and he was also interested in the completion of the western termination of the Mason and Dixon line, although he was not a commissioner.
He was made brigadier-general of Pennsylvania militia in 1801,
was subsequently major-general,and in 1809 appointed surveyor-general, and holding the postuntil his death in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1813.
His eldest son Robert, was president judge of the 3d judicial
district of Pennsylvania, son David Rittenhouse Porter served
as the 9th governor of Pennsylvania. Son George Bryan Porter was appointed by Andrew Jackson governor of Michigan
territory and James Madison Porter, the youngest son, filled the
offices of president judge of the 12th judicial district of
Pennsylvania; was secretary of war under President Tyler, and
president judge of the 22d judicial district of Pennsylvania as well as being the primary founder of Lafayette College in Easton.
Daughter Elizabeth Porter married Robert Parker and gave birth to Eliza Parker, the mother of Mary Todd the wife of Abraham Lincoln.
Among the many illustrious descendants of the general are many
impressive citizens, governors, generals, judges and businessmen such as grandsons Civil War Gen. Horace Porter and Brig. General Andrew Porter.