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Harvey Porter (1845-1923)

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Reverend Harvey Porter

(Service to AUB 1870-1923)

American missionary, scientist, librarian, educator, and acting president. Reverend Harvey Porter was born in 1845 in Shelbourne Falls, Massachusetts. In 1862, at the age of 17 years, shortly after the outbreak of the American Civil War, he enlisted as a volunteer in the Northern Army and remained in active service for two years, experiencing all its hardships and privations. After graduating from Amherst College in 1870, Rev. David Stuart Dodge invited him to teach at the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut. He arrived at the college in November 1870 and was employed as a lecturer in English and Latin, but he devoted the greater part of his time to the study of the Arabic language. He then became a professor of history and philosophy and head of the Department of Archaeology. On three occasions during the absence of Howard Bliss, the president of SPC at that time, Porter was appointed acting president. He also did tremendous work in developing both the library and the Archaeological Museum. He authored articles in contemporary magazines on different subjects. In 1892, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy from his alma mater. He passed away on January 12, 1923, in Beirut and was buried in the Anglo-American Cemetery in Furn el-Shubbak, Beirut.[14]

[14] Memorial Service for Dr. Porter. Al Kulliyah Magazine, February 1923, v. IX, no. 4, (57-60).