Porter, Horace, 1837–1921, American soldier and diplomat, b. Huntingdon, Pa. In the Civil War he saw varied service, mostly as an ordnance officer, before becoming (1864) aide-de-camp to Gen. U. S. Grant. After the war, Porter was briefly Assistant Secretary of War when Grant was Secretary of War. During Grant's presidency Porter served as one of his executive secretaries until 1872. He was ambassador to France (1897–1905), where, at his own personal expense, he recovered the body of John Paul Jones for reburial in the United States. As delegate to the Hague Conference of 1907, he amended the Drago Doctrine (see under Drago, Luis María) with his Porter Proposition, which provided that strong nations whose nationals had contract-debt claims against weaker nations should submit the claims to arbitration before trying to collect them by force. He wrote West Point Life (1866; verse) and Campaigning with Grant (1897).
See biography by his daughter, E. P. Mende, and H. G. Pearson (1927).