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March 29, 1874

I have this day concluded to retrospect my past life, and write down some of the most important events; thinking that when I am gone from earth, my children will like to read it though it may not be interesting to anyone else. In attempting to do so, I will commence with a brief history of my parents, their birth, marriages, moves, etc., up to the time of my birth.

My father, Benjamin Philips Porter, was born in the state of Georgia, in the year A. D. 1804, and moved to Tennessee when a child, and was reared to manhood in Lincoln County of that state.

My mother, whose maiden name was Dorothy Alsobrook, was a native of South Carolina, and was born in the year A. D. 1811, and likewise moved to the state of Tennessee when a child, but I do not now know precisely to what county. She also was reared in that state.

My parents were married A. D. 1832, and sometime afterwards moved to Marshall County, Mississippi, remaining there until A. D. 1838, when my father, together with some other gentlemen, made a prospection trip to the then wilds of Texas. He, being well pleased with the country and the state granting 1280 acres of land to actual settlers that year, I suppose, being another inducement, my father traded his horse and what means he could spare, for town property in the town of Shelbyville, Shelby County, Texas, and returned by water for his family which then consisted of Mother, sisters Elizabeth, Caroline and Martha, and two servants, William and Dock -- all of whom arrived at their new home, in the wilds of Texas, in the winter or spring of A. D. 1839.

One other sister, Susan, and a brother, Hezekiah, were born to my parents before my birth.

In A. D. 1842, the servant, William, died.

In April, 22nd day, 1844, I was born, being the seventh, and after all, the middle one of their family, and second son. I was named John Samuel Corley Porter. John is after Grandfather Alsobrook, Samuel Corley, for a distinguished Cumberland Presbyterian preacher of early days in this state.

In the year A. D. 1850, my parents moved to their headright of land, which was located in Upshur County  [present Camp County;  see land map next page] -- arrived at our destination, in the wild woods, on the 20th of April. I being six years old, lacking two days.

Please allow me an episode, and I will give a brief description of the appearance of the country at that time -- it being thinly settled,

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Life of John C. Porter and Sketch of His Experiences in the Civil War

John C. Porter 1874