David Porter (1780-1843) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to the Revolutionary navy captain David Porter and Rebecca Henry. He entered the navy in 1798 and served on board the Constellation during the Quasi War with France. He participated in the 1st Barbary War as a 1st lieutenant on the Philadelphia . He and the rest of the crew were captured and held prisoner at Tripoli from October 1803 until June 1805. After release he remained in the Mediterranean as captain of the Enterprise . Porter took command of the New Orleans naval station in 1808, and during the War of 1812, he sailed around Cape Horn, entered the Pacific, and captured several British prize ships. However, on March 28, 1814, Porter's ship was captured by Captain James Hillary off the coast of Valparaiso, Chile. After the war, he served on the Board of Navy Commissioners until given command of the West India squadron in 1823. He was court martialed in 1825 for invading Fajardo (Foxardo), Puerto Rico, and resigned from the United States Navy the following year. From 1826 to 1829 he served as a capitán de navio of the Mexican Navy, after which, Porter returned to the United States. In 1830, the Jackson administration appointed him consul general to Algiers, and a year later appointed him minister to Turkey. He died in Constantinople in 1843.
David Porter married Evelina Anderson in 1808. They had ten children, including David Dixon Porter.
David Dixon Porter (1813-1891) was born in Chester, Pennsylvania. He began his naval career sailing under his father on the frigate John Adams in the West Indies. He followed his father into the service of the Mexican Navy from 1826 to 1829 as a midshipman for the Libertad and the Guerrero . In 1829, he returned to the United States and joined the US Ship United States as a midshipman. From 1834 to 1842, he worked for the Coast Survey, eventually climbing to the rank of lieutenant. During the Mexican War, he served in the Gulf and the South Atlantic and helped blockade Veracruz onboard the gunboat Spitfire . After the war, Porter left the navy to captain private vessels, such as the Panama , the Crescent City , and the Golden Age . He returned to naval service in 1855, as commander of the Supply , which transported camels from Turkey to Texas for the United States Army. During the Civil War, Porter participated in the taking of New Orleans (1862), the fall of Vicksburg (1863), the Red River expedition (1864), and the capture of Fort Fisher (1865). In 1866, he was promoted vice admiral and given superintendency of the Naval Academy at Annapolis. Ulysses S. Grant appointed him special advisor to the Navy Department, and there Porter instituted a number of administrative reforms. He succeeded Farragut as admiral in 1870, and served on the Board of Inspection until his death in 1891.
David D. Porter married Georgy Patterson in 1839. They had two daughters and four sons, including Captain Theodoric Porter.