Richard was born in Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Porter and Mary Gibbs.
About 1833 he entered into partnership with his brother in the commercial house of William G. Porter & Co. in Apalachicola, Florida. There he was successfully engaged in an extensive business in cotton for over thirty years.
He was married in 1845 to Mary Tibbits Salter who was the daughter of Benjamin F. Salter and Harriet Chase Tibbits. Their seven children were: Thomas Francis, Richard Henry, Edward Gibbs, Elizabeth Pepperrell, Gilbert Rodman, William Salter, and Richard Gibbs Porter, Jr.
Portrait/carte de visite - Wenderoth, Taylor & Brown, Philadelphia