Biography of General Pleasant Porter

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This illustrious citizen of the Muskogee Tribe was born in that nation, on the Arkansas River, September 26, 1840. His father, Benj. E. Porter, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, was a white man of Irish descent. His mother was a daughter of Tartope Tustennuggee, Chief of the Okmulgees, while his grandmother was a sister to Samuel and Benjamin Perryman. General Porter is a grandnephew to R. W. Porter, ex-Governor of Pennsylvania. When ten years of age, Pleasant was sent to the Presbyterian Mission School at Tallahassee for five years, after which he engaged in farming until the outbreak of the war, when he enlisted in the Confederate service as a private soldier, receiving various promotions until he reached the rank of first lieutenant. After the war he devoted much time to the re-establishment of the schools which had been long closed, and for several terms acted as school superintendent. In November 1872, in St. Louis, he married Miss M. Keys, the daughter of Judge Reilly Keys, who has been for twenty years Chief Justice of the Creek Nation. By this marriage he had three children, William Adair, Pleasant S., and Annie Mary. His wife dying in 1886, he married Miss Mattie L. Bertholf, cousin to his deceased wife, by whom he had four children, three of whom died in infancy. The survivor, two and a half years old, is named Lenora E. Mr. Porter has served six years in the House of Warriors and eight in the House of Kings; of the latter he was presiding officer for one term. He has also been a delegate to Washington during thirteen different sessions of Congress, attending to the interests of the people, and he has contributed largely to the success of many of the most important measures affecting the welfare of the people. As a diplomatist, General Porter has few superiors, here or elsewhere. In the Esparhecher war General Porter took an active part. He was given complete military authority, and the nation was placed under martial law, consequently he wielded unlimited power, which he used in a manner highly creditable, as but few lives were lost ere the insurrection was quelled and peace restored. Upon two other occasions General Porter quelled disturbances, which, but for his superior diplomacy, might have terminated in a series of civil wars. General Porter is a large agriculturist, having a farm of 4,000 acres, 800 of which are in cultivation. He has also about 2,000 head of stock, and property to the value of $50,000 in Muskogee. He is a tall, handsome, distinguished-looking man, with a military bearing and polished manners. He is well read on most subjects, and is greatly interested in the education of his people, that they may soon be prepared to accept citizenship and statehood.

MLA Source Citation:

O'Beirne, Harry F. and Edward S. The Indian Territory: Its Chiefs, Legislators, and Leading Men. St. Louis. 1898. Web. 30 January 2015. - Last updated on Jul 28th, 2012


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