Vice Admiral David D. Porter, superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, wrote to George F. Shepley of Portland seeking his help in obtaining a portrait of Commodore Edward Preble (1761-1807), a Portland native, who Porter referred to as "Father of the U.S. Navy."
Porter wrote that a portrait of Preble hung at the Preble House in Portland and hoped Shepley, with whom he was familiar from Civil War service in Louisiana, could help obtain the portrait.
Porter served during the capture of New Orleans, the Vicksburg campaign, and the Red River campaign. Shepley, a brigadier general, was military commandant of New Orleans and military governor of Louisiana.
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