Member of the North Carolina State House of Commons (1791)
James Porterfield was raised in Fayetteville, espoused the Whig cause in the Revolutionary struggle, and served his country as a true soldier. He was present at the Battle of Camden, and retired to private life when peace was attained.
He lived on what is known as the McLauren lot, on the west side of St. James Square, where he entertained hospitably in his bachelor abode all who favored him with a call. He was a successful merchant and was one of the Merchant Princes of Green Street. He died in 1795, and his estate was inherited by his brother John and his sister Eilana, who was married to Thomas Owen, of Bladen, father of Governor and General James Owen.
During his lifetime Phoenix Lodge flourished and averaged about 60 members. From the organization of the Lodge to his death he was honored by being elected Master. On his death his mantle fell upon John Winslow, who in all respects, was worthy to succeed him in honor and the compliments of the Lodge, over which he presided for nearly twenty years, and in which his venerable picture was suspended nearly forty years more.