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Peters, Andrew J., 1872-1938



Andrew J. Peters was born in Jamaica Plain April 3, 1872. He prepared for college at St. Paul's School, where he excelled in athletics, particularly aquatic sports. He was a clever oarsman and skipper, and swimming was also a favorite pastime.

He entered Harvard College in 1892. While at Harvard, he maintained his interest in sports, but never allowed it to interfere with his studies. Mr. Peters received his degree in 1895, and entered Harvard’s Law School, obtaining his law degree in three years.

Mr. Peters entered the political arena in 1901, running as the Democratic candidate for State Representative in his district. Although campaigning in a heavily Republican district, he was successful in his effort, and entered the House of Representatives in 1902.

From 1904 to 1905 he was a member of the Massachusetts Senate, and in 1911, he served as United States Congressman from the Eleventh District, and served four terms as Congressman.

In 1910, Mr. Andrews married Martha R. Phillips, a descendant of John P. Phillips, the first mayor of Boston. Six sons were born to them, but two died at a young age.

Andrew J. Peters' reputation as a man of integrity helped elect him Mayor of Boston in 1917, and he served from 1918 to 1921.

During his administration, he concentrated on fiscal responsibility for the city. He consolidated many departments for this purpose, and he was a proponent of a "metropolitan control" system that eventually became reality in 1930 under Mayor James M. Curley, when the Metropolitan District Commission was established.

Unfortunately, Mayor Peters' administration was marred by the great Boston police strike, which occurred September 8, 1919. Prominent citizens enrolled as special police to protect the city during the strike, and the State Guard was called out. Mayor Peters refused the strikers' demands; the strike was broken; and all strikers, who were the majority of the force, were discharged.

Although Mayor Peters himself was of the highest integrity, a few less than honest persons disgraced his administration, and he left his office a disillusioned man.

Mr. Peters subsequently served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. He died on June 26, 1938.

Source of information - political journal "Practical Politics," September, 1914; various Globe articles from their research library; and "Fifty Years of Boston."

Taken from "Boston's 45 Mayors from John Phillips to Kevin H. White," City Record, Boston, 1979.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Greater Boston : an appeal for the federation of the metropolitan cities and towns, 1919

 Item — Publications PB 021
Scope and Contents From the Series:

Collection of publications produced by the Mayor's Office and various offices within the Mayor's Office on many topics relating to Boston.

Dates: Other: 1919

Mayor Andrew J. Peters, 1918-1921, undated

Identifier: 5210004_015_037
Scope and Contents From the Collection:

Photographs and other images collected by the Boston Landmarks Commission for reference use and for publications as well as photographs taken by the Landmarks Commission documenting their work and city neighborhoods.

Dates: undated