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Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
([1924?] )

Kent, Antoinette Cowles
Eliza Chappel Porter,   pp. 77-80 PDF (753.8 KB)


Page 78


and Mr. Porter conducted the first religious service near
Fort Dearborn. Some of her ardorous work compelled
long rides on horseback as she had now returned to
Mackinaw. Miss Chappell returned to Chicago again
August 26, 1834. Mr. Jeremiah Porter, as a Home Mis-
sionary had arrived at Fort Dearborn, May 12, 1833.
    On June 1 the first church edifice was built and in
January, 1834 was dedicated. Later this building became
a school room for Miss Chappell.
    June 15, 1835, she and the Reverend Jeremiah Por-
ter were married at Rochester, N. Y., by Rev. Edwards
of the first Presbyterian Church.
    July 3, this year, they returned to their missionary
work in Chicago. Early in 1840 they became mission-
aries at Green Bay. They now had two children.
    For eighteen years the Porters were missionaries
in this community. The Civil War had now begun after
twenty-five years of their wedded life had passed. Two
sons enlisted and Mr. and Mrs. Porter entered upon the
work of the N. W. Sanitary Commission as soon as it
was organized. Mrs. Porter remained one of the field
agents of the Northwestern Sanitary Commission until
its work was finished.
    It was organized October, 1861. Mrs. Porter and
Mrs. Bickerdyke became agents in the field in 1862. They
worked in the hospitals, distributing supplies, attended
the sick and sacrificing sleep, lived in the atmosphere of
suffering. They were wet, cold, hungry, slept on ward
beds, dressed in rude clothing, ate coarse food. Much
of the time they labored together. Meantime, Lucy Ann
Warner Hayward, born in Cornwall, Vermont, cared for
Mrs. Bickerdyke's boys while she was in the army. At
Nashville, a Diet Kitchen was established. This was
ably managed by Mrs. Withermeyer, while the Christ-
ian Commission paid the expenses.
     Mrs. Porter established what eventually became the
 Freedman's Bureau.
                          78


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