Charles Howell Porter, who represented Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives from January 1870 to March 1873, sits for a studio portrait. "Hon. Porter" has been scratched into the emulsion at the top of the negative (it appears backwards), indicating that the photograph was probably taken during his tenure as congressman. Porter was a New York–born lawyer who came to Virginia as a Union solider and then settled there.
This glass-plate image is part of the Brady-Handy Collection of negatives at the Library of Congress. The collection combines the work of photographers Mathew B. Brady and his nephew Levin D. Handy, who ran a series of photographic studios in Washington, D.C. The majority of the negatives are portraits taken during and after the Civil War, but the collection also includes views of Washington, D.C.