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08/03/2021 04:43 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate

David Rittenhouse Porter


Session Position District Party
1835-1836 8 Democrat
1837-1838 8 Democrat
 Counties   Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Union


1788 - 1867

David Rittenhouse Porter (October 31, 1788 – August 6, 1867) was the governor of Pennsylvania from 1839 to 1845. Born near Norristown, Pennsylvania, he was a business owner for a while until business failures and recession drove him into politics. He served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1819, and in the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1836. He narrowly defeated incumbent governor Joseph Ritner in 1838. The narrow margin of victory, contested by Ritner supporters, led to the Buckshot War. Porter led the state through a recession and helped to suppress anti-Catholic riots in Philadelphia. Following his term as governor, he returned to business; Porter owned an iron works and promoted a transcontinental railroad. A residence hall at Penn State's University Park campus is named for Governor Porter. Porter's son Horace served as a general in the Union Army during the Civil War. Porter Township in Clarion County is named after the former governor. Parents: General Andrew Porter and Elizabeth Parker; married Josephine McDermott.