Andrew James Peters

Andrew James Peters (April 3, 1872 – July 26, 1938) was an American politician who served in the United States House of Representatives and was the 42nd Mayor of Boston.

Andrew James Peters
Andrew James Peters 42nd Mayor of Boston
Andrew James Peters circa 1918[1]
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1907 – August 15, 1914
Preceded byJohn A. Sullivan
Succeeded byGeorge H. Tinkham
42nd Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
In office
February 4, 1918[2] – February 6, 1922[3]
Preceded byJames M. Curley
Succeeded byJames M. Curley
Member of the Massachusetts State Senate
In office
Personal details
BornApril 3, 1872
West Roxbury, Massachusetts
DiedJuly 26, 1938 (aged 66)
Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Martha Peters
Alma materHarvard Law School
Andrew James Peters's signature

Early years

Peters was born on April 3, 1872, in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood of Boston. His family had been in Massachusetts since the first Andrew Peters arrived there in 1657. He attended Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

Political career

Peters served two terms in the Massachusetts State Senate (1904, 1905). In 1906, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he would serve from 1907 to 1914.[4]

In 1914, Peters was appointed to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under William Gibbs McAdoo in the first administration of President Woodrow Wilson. Peters served there until 1918, when he began his term as Mayor of Boston, having defeated incumbent James Michael Curley in the 1917 mayoral election. Peters' term as mayor is remembered for his handling of the Boston Police Strike in 1919.

Peters was considered for Governor of Massachusetts later in the 1920s, but was not nominated.

Personal life

Peters' reputation suffered because of his relationship with a young relative of his wife. He had married Martha Phillips in 1910, and together they had six children. Mrs. Peters cousin, Mrs. Helen Faithfull, had a young daughter named Starr Wyman, later Starr Faithfull, who attracted Peters' attention in 1917. He began to sexually abuse the eleven year old Starr[5] and paid money to her mother and stepfather to keep the story quiet. Starr died under mysterious circumstances on Long Island in 1931. The story came out,[6] damaging Peters' reputation, despite his denials of it.

The circumstances of Peters' relationship with Starr Faithfull eventually became part of the material used by John O'Hara in his novel BUtterfield 8. Peters also plays a key role in Dennis Lehane's novel The Given Day.

Peters died of pneumonia on July 26, 1938.[7]

See also


  1. ^ The Municipal Register for 1918, Boston, MA: The City of Boston, 1917, p. 2
  2. ^ "PETERS WILL BE ON HAND AT INAUGURAL". The Boston Globe. February 4, 1918. p. 3. Retrieved March 16, 2018 – via
  3. ^ "CURLEY TAKES OFFICE TODAY". The Boston Globe. February 6, 1922. p. 1. Retrieved March 16, 2018 – via
  4. ^ "Massachusetts", Official Congressional Directory, 1907
  5. ^ Russel, Francis. A City in Terror: Calvin Coolidge and the 1919 Boston Police Strike. p. 70.
  6. ^ "Murder Theory Still Persists". The Advocate-Messenger. Danville, Kentucky. UP. June 17, 1931. Retrieved March 14, 2018 – via
  7. ^ "A. J. Peters, Mayor of Boston during '19 Police Strike, Dies". Chicago Tribune. AP. June 27, 1938. Retrieved March 14, 2018 – via
  • Goodman, Jonathan.: The Passing of Starr Faithfull. (London: Piatkus, c. 1990) ISBN 0-86188-844-8
  • Russell, Francis.: A City in Terror, 1919: The Boston Police Strike (New York: Viking Press, c. 1975) ISBN 0-670-22449-9
  • Russell, Francis.: The Knave of Boston & Other Ambiguous Massachusetts Characters (Boston: Quinlan Press, c. 1988) (pp. 68–84: "The Mayor and the Nymphet") ISBN 0-933341-79-2
  • City of Boston Statistics Department The Municipal Register for 1918 (1918) p. 2.

Further reading

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John A. Sullivan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 11th congressional district

March 4, 1907 – August 15, 1914
Succeeded by
George H. Tinkham
Political offices
Preceded by
James Michael Curley
Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
Succeeded by
James Michael Curley
1914 Boston mayoral election

The Boston mayoral election of 1914 occurred on Tuesday, January 13, 1914. James Michael Curley, member of the United States House of Representatives, was elected Mayor of Boston for the first time, defeating Thomas J. Kenny, president of the Boston City Council.Incumbent mayor John F. Fitzgerald withdrew in December, citing illness; in actuality, Curley and attorney Daniel H. Coakley forced Fitzgerald from the race after learning of his indiscretions with a cigarette girl, Elizabeth "Toodles" Ryan.Curley was inaugurated as mayor on Monday, February 2, and intended to continue also serving in Congress. However, on February 25, after political pressure mounted to unseat him, Curley announced his resignation from Congress, retroactive to February 4.This was the last January-scheduled general election for Mayor of Boston; the next mayoral election was held in December 1917.

1917 Boston mayoral election

The Boston mayoral election of 1917 occurred on Tuesday, December 18, 1917. Andrew James Peters, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, defeated incumbent Mayor of Boston James Michael Curley and two other candidates.Peters was inaugurated on Monday, February 4, 1918.

1921 Boston mayoral election

The Boston mayoral election of 1921 occurred on Tuesday, December 13, 1921. James Michael Curley, who had previously served as Mayor of Boston (1914–1918), was elected for the second time, defeating three other candidates.In 1918, the Massachusetts state legislature had passed legislation making the Mayor of Boston ineligible to serve consecutive terms. Thus, incumbent Andrew James Peters was unable to run for re-election.

Due to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, this was the first Boston municipal election that women could vote in.Curley was inaugurated on Monday, February 6, 1922.

Al Smith 1928 presidential campaign

Al Smith, Governor of New York, was a candidate for President of the United States in the 1928 election. His run was notable in that he was the first Catholic nominee of a major party, he opposed Prohibition, and he enjoyed broad appeal among women, who had won the right of suffrage in 1920.

Andrew Peters (disambiguation)

Andrew Peters (born 1980) is a Canadian ice hockey player.

Andrew Peters may also refer to:

Andrew James Peters (1872–1938), U.S. Representative from Massachusetts and Mayor of Boston

Andi Peters (born 1970), British television presenter

Andrew Peters, character in Destination Unknown (novel)

Boston Police Strike

In the Boston Police Strike, Boston police officers went on strike on September 9, 1919. They sought recognition for their trade union and improvements in wages and working conditions. Police Commissioner Edwin Upton Curtis denied that police officers had any right to form a union, much less one affiliated with a larger organization like the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Attempts at reconciliation between the Commissioner and the police officers, particularly on the part of Boston's Mayor Andrew James Peters, failed.

During the strike, Boston experienced several nights of lawlessness. Several thousand members of the Massachusetts State Guard, supported by volunteers, restored order by force. Press reaction both locally and nationally described the strike as Bolshevik-inspired and directed at the destruction of civil society. The strikers were called "deserters" and "agents of Lenin." Samuel Gompers of the AFL recognized that the strike was damaging the cause of labor in the public mind and advised the strikers to return to work. Commissioner Curtis refused to re-hire the striking policemen. He was supported by Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge, whose rebuke of Gompers earned him a national reputation.

Nine were killed in several days of civil unrest and the threat of a general strike. Eight of the nine were fatally shot by members of the State Guard. The police strike ended on September 13, when Commissioner Curtis announced the replacement of all striking workers with 1,500 new officers, given higher wages. The strike proved a setback for labor unions. The AFL discontinued its attempts to organize police officers for another two decades. Coolidge won the Republican nomination for vice president of the U.S. in the 1920 presidential election.

Custom House Tower

The Custom House Tower is a skyscraper in McKinley Square, in the Financial District neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. Construction began in the mid-19th century; the tower was added in the 1910s. Standing at 496 ft (151 m) tall, the tower is currently Boston's 17th-tallest building. As of 2016, it houses the Marriott Custom House Hotel.

The tower is part of the Custom House District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Edwin Upton Curtis

Edwin Upton Curtis (May 26, 1861 – March 28, 1922) was an American attorney and politician from Massachusetts who served as the 34th Mayor of Boston (1895–1896). Later, as Boston Police Commissioner (1918–1922), his refusal to recognize the union formed by the department's officers provoked the 1919 Boston Police Strike.

Forest Hills, Boston

Forest Hills is a part of the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Forest Hills is characterized by hilly terrain and wooded areas within and adjacent to its borders. In general, the area slopes upward from Hyde Park Ave and downward from Walk Hill Street.

Forest Hills is primarily residential, although a number of small businesses are located along Hyde Park Avenue. Single family homes predominate south of Walk Hill Street, but triple deckers dominate near the train station. As in the rest of Jamaica Plain, many of the multi-unit houses have been converted into condominiums. A variety of home styles are represented including Arts & Crafts, Cape Cod, Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Tudor Revival and Victorian. South of Walk Hill Street, Forest Hills is characterized by curving, tree-lined streets laid out in irregular patterns indicative of how the area was thoughtfully transformed from country estates into a streetcar suburb.

Herbert A. Wilson

Herbert A. Wilson (November 27, 1870–May 7, 1934) was an American politician who served as Commissioner of the Boston Police Department and member of the Massachusetts General Court.

Jamaica Plain

Jamaica Plain is a neighborhood of 4.4 square miles (11 km2) in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Founded by Boston Puritans seeking farm land to the south, it was originally part of the town of Roxbury. The community seceded from Roxbury as a part of the new town of West Roxbury in 1851, and became part of Boston when West Roxbury was annexed to Boston in 1874. In the 19th century, Jamaica Plain became one of the first streetcar suburbs in America and home to a significant portion of Boston's Emerald Necklace of parks, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. According to the 2010 Census, it had a population of 37,468.

John Andrew Sullivan

John Andrew Sullivan (May 10, 1868 – May 31, 1927) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Sullivan attended the common and high schools.

He was graduated from the Boston University Law School in 1896.

He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Boston, Massachusetts.

He served as member of the Massachusetts State Senate 1900-1902.

Sullivan was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-eighth and Fifty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1903-March 3, 1907).

He declined to be a candidate for renomination.

He resumed the practice of law in Boston, Massachusetts.

He was appointed a member of the Boston Finance Commission in July 1907 and served until the commission expired.

In June 1909, Sullivan became chairman of the permanent Boston Finance Commission.

He resigned in 1914 to become corporation counsel of Boston. Later, he was a lecturer on municipal government at Harvard University in 1912 and 1913 and then at Boston University Law School from 1920-1925. Sullivan resumed the practice of his profession in Boston.

He died in Scituate, Massachusetts, May 31, 1927 and was interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden, Massachusetts.

Margaret Foley (suffragist)

Margaret Lillian Foley (March 19, 1875 - June 14, 1957) was an Irish-American labor organizer, suffragist, and social worker from Boston. Known for confronting anti-suffrage candidates at political rallies, she was nicknamed the "Grand Heckler."

Peter Francis Tague

Peter Francis Tague (June 4, 1871 – September 17, 1941) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Boston, Massachusetts.

Peters (surname)

Peters is a patronymic surname (Peter's son) of Dutch, English and Low German origin. It can also be an English translation of Gaelic Mac Pheadair (same meaning) or an Americanized form of cognate surnames like Peeters or Pieters..

Thomas C. O'Brien

Thomas Charles O'Brien (June 19, 1887–November 22, 1951) was an American attorney and politician who served as District Attorney of Suffolk County, Massachusetts and was the United States vice-presidential nominee for the Union Party in the 1936 United States presidential election.

William Gordon Weld

William Gordon Weld (1775–1825) was an American shipmaster and ship owner. He is notable as an ancestor of several famous Welds.

William Phillips (diplomat)

William Phillips (May 30, 1878 – February 23, 1968) was a career United States diplomat who served twice as an Under Secretary of State.

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