Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Augustus Porter Papers, 1811-1888; 1948

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, August 2011

Summary Information
Title: Augustus Porter papers
Creator: Porter, Augustus, 1769-1849
Inclusive dates: 1811-1888, 1948
Bulk dates: 1811-1888
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
The Augustus Porter papers consist primarily of Porter's incoming business correspondence from the early 19th century. Porter, an early settler of Niagara Falls, New York, had business interests across a variety of industries. Other items include financial records related to Porter's businesses and personal letters written and received by Porter's son, Augustus Seymour Porter.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1989. M-2442.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Augustus Porter Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Augustus Porter was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, in January 1769, and moved to Canandaigua, New York, in 1800. He visited the Niagara Falls area in 1795 and soon returned with his brother, Peter B. Porter. The Porter brothers were two of the area's first settlers, and they later owned several boats that traveled on the Great Lakes, as well as a saw mill that they built in 1803. Augustus Porter served on the New York state legislature, and in 1807 founded the firm Porter, Barton & Co., becoming a successful businessman until his death in 1849. He had five children with his second wife, Jane Howell: Albert H., Peter B., Augustus Seymour (1798-1872), Lavinia E., and Jane S. Augustus Seymour Porter represented Michigan in the United States Senate.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Augustus Porter papers consist primarily of Porter's business correspondence from the early 19th century. Porter, an early settler of Niagara Falls, New York, had business interests across a variety of industries. The material pertains to Porter's business interests, mail in and around Niagara Falls, property disputes in northern New York, and an unnamed canal. Augustus Seymour Porter, a United States senator from Michigan, received several personal letters from his mother, Jane Howell Porter. Also present are a printed booklet entitled Notes on the Niagara River (1948) and a newspaper clipping entitled Fun and Miscellany, with a list of puns. The Augustus Porter papers chronicle the early history and development of western New York through the interests of a prominent businessman.

Subject Terms

    • New York (State) History 1775-1865.
    • Niagara Falls (N.Y.)
    • Real property--New York (State)
    • Porter, Augustus Seymour, 1798-1872.
    • Porter, Jane Howell.
    Genre Terms:
    • Financial records.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Pamphlets.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   1  
    Augustus Porter papers [series]
     December 26, 1811-March 30, 1888, and  1948
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    Biographies of Augustus Porter:

    The War of 1812 collection holds a letter written by Samuel Tupper to Augustus Porter, dated January 18, 1814.

    The Clements Library holds several items written by and addressed to Augustus Seymour Porter, the son of Judge Augustus Porter.


    Williams, Edward T. Official Record of the Niagara Falls Memorial Commission, in Succession to the William B. Rankine Memorial Commission.... [Niagara Falls, New York]: Niagara Falls Memorial Commission.