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MS AmW 107

Porter, V. Mott (Valentine Mott), 1870-1915, compiler. V. Mott Porter papers concerning the U. S. Army in the West, 1814-1914: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS AmW 107
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Porter, V. Mott (Valentine Mott), 1870-1915, compiler.
Title: V. Mott Porter papers concerning the U. S. Army in the West,
Date(s): 1814-1914.
Quantity: 1 collection (1 box (.5 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Papers of American historian V. Mott Porter concerning various figures involved with the U. S. Army in the American West.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

No accession number. Gift of Mrs. V. Mott Porter; received: 1918.
Forms part of the collection of Western Americana manuscripts at Houghton Library, collected under the auspices of the Harvard Commission on Western History.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

V. Mott Porter Papers Concerning the U. S. Army in the West, 1814-1914 (MS AmW 107). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Additional papers of V. Mott (Valentine Mott) Porter are held by the Missouri History Museum.

Biographical / Historical

Valentine Mott Porter (1870-1915) was born in Illinois in 1870, the son of Samuel Smith Porter, M.D., and Helen Van Zandt Porter. Porter prepared for college at Smith Academy in St. Louis, received an AB from Harvard College in 1892, received an L.L.B. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1894, and then entered the practice of law. In 1907 Valentine married Susan Creighton Williams (1877-1963), daughter of Meade Creighton Williams and Elizabeth Brown Riddle Williams. They had one child, Valentine Mott Porter Jr. (1915-2005). In August 1907, Valentine Sr. was taken seriously ill with septic pneumonia, which developed into tubercular trouble, and he was hurried to California where, with infrequent visits to the East and one trip abroad, he spent the rest of his life. Porter was a member of a variety of civic groups including: involvement as secretary of the Universal Congress of Lawyers and Jurists held in St. Louis in 1904; member of Associated Harvard Clubs of Indianapolis, University Club of St. Louis, Light Battery "A" Missouri Volunteers, and the Harvard Club of Santa Barbara. He edited the 1820 journal of Stephen Watts Kearny (1908) and wrote many other historical accounts. He died in Los Angeles, California in 1915 at age 44. [Source: The Harvard Graduates' Magazine, Volume 23, March 1915].
These papers belonging to Valentine Mott Porter especially concern the following men:


Organized in the following series:

Scope and Contents

This collection chiefly concerns Stephen Watts Kearny (1794-1848), Henry Atkinson (1782–1842), James Kennerly (1892-1840), and V. Mott Porter's writings about these central figures of the U. S. military in the American West. Also concerns the Missouri River Expedition of 1825. Collection contains: a transcript of the diary of James Kennerly from 1823-1826, and one of the diary of Henry Atkinson, from 1825; autograph manuscript notes by Porter; typescript transcripts by Porter of documents relating to his research; correspondence relating to these papers and to the three central figures; engravings, clippings, and photographs; and other materials concerning the American West.

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