Richard Peters collection (1749-1825)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Meg Hixon, August 2011
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Richard Peters collection
Creator: William L. Clements Library
Inclusive dates: 1749-1825
Extent: 11 items
This collection contains correspondence and documents related to Reverend Richard Peters (1704-1776) and his nephew, also named Richard Peters (1744-1828), both of Philadelphia. The bulk of the material pertains to their professional and financial affairs.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

1934-1990. M-230; M-692; M-763; M-765; M-1364; M-1898; M-1968; M-2005; M-2520k; M-2576.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation

Richard Peters Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged into the following series:
  • Series I: Correspondence and Documents
  • Series II: Letter and Account book

The Correspondence and Documents series is arranged chronologically.


Richard Peters was born in Liverpool, England, in 1704, the son of Ralph Peters and Esther Preeson. Before he was ordained in 1730, Peters studied law at the Inner Temple in London. He had married as a teenager and, erroneously believing his first wife to be dead, remarried in 1734. His first wife's reappearance led Peters to immigrate to North America around 1735. He settled in Philadelphia, where he was a preacher and a public servant, working as a provincial secretary, a councilman, and an Indian agent. He left his post at Philadelphia's Christ Church in 1775. Reverend Richard Peters July 10, 1776.

Richard Peters, nephew of Reverend Richard Peters, was born near Philadelphia on June 22, 1744. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1761, he practiced law in Philadelphia. He served as a Continental Army captain, secretary for the Board of War, speaker of the Pennsylvania Senate, and a district court judge; Peters was also a member of the First and Second Continental Congresses and the Pennsylvania General Assembly. He died on August 22, 1828.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection (11 items) contains correspondence and documents related to Reverend Richard Peters and his nephew, also named Richard Peters, who both lived in Philadelphia in the mid- to late 18th century. The material pertains to Pennsylvania property and Cumberland County boundaries, Arlington sheep, finances, and politics. The collection includes a certified copy of a map of property belonging to Peters in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (copy dated March 17, 1810), an account book kept by the younger Richard Peters from 1785-1789, and a letter that the younger Richard Peters wrote to William Rawle about his uncle's biography (September 22, 1825).

Subject Terms

  • Philadelphia (Pa.)
  • Real property--Pennsylvania.
Subjects - Visual Materials:
  • Cumberland County (Pa.)--Maps.
  • Peters, Richard, 1704-1776.
  • Peters, Richard, 1744-1828.
Genre Terms:
  • Account books.
  • Financial records.
  • Legal documents.
  • Letter books.
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Manuscript maps.

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   43, Small Collections  
Richard Peters collection [series]
Folder   36  
 December 28, 1749-May 20, 1780
Folder   37  
 March 21, 1789-September 22, 1825
Folder   38  
Letter and account book,  1785-1789

Additional Descriptive Data

Related Materials

The Burd-Shippen papers contain a letter written from Reverend Richard Peters and James Hamilton to James Burd (April 12, 1760).

Richard Peters (1744-1828) items in the Nathanael Greene Papers:
  • Richard Peters to Nathaniel Irish, November 20, 1781
  • Richard Peters to Thomas Jones, June 13, 1781
  • Richard Peters to Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, June 13, 1781
  • Richard Peters to Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, August 31, 1788


"Peters, Richard, Jr., (1744-1828)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Van Horne, John C. "Peters, Richard." American National Biography Online. 2000.