Andrew James Peters
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.
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.
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 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, 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.
- Timeline of Boston, 1900s–1920s
- 125th Massachusetts General Court (1904)
- 126th Massachusetts General Court (1905)
- The Municipal Register for 1918, Boston, MA: The City of Boston, 1917, p. 2
- “PETERS WILL BE ON HAND AT INAUGURAL”. The Boston Globe. February 4, 1918. p. 3. Retrieved March 16, 2018 – via pqarchiver.com.
- “CURLEY TAKES OFFICE TODAY”. The Boston Globe. February 6, 1922. p. 1. Retrieved March 16, 2018 – via pqarchiver.com.
- “Massachusetts”, Official Congressional Directory, 1907
- Russel, Francis. A City in Terror: Calvin Coolidge and the 1919 Boston Police Strike. p. 70.
- “Murder Theory Still Persists”. The Advocate-Messenger. Danville, Kentucky. UP. June 17, 1931. Retrieved March 14, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
- “A. J. Peters, Mayor of Boston during ’19 Police Strike, Dies”. Chicago Tribune. AP. June 27, 1938. Retrieved March 14, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
- 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.
- United States Congress. “Andrew James Peters (id: P000251)”. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Nadel, Norman (September 30, 1977). “Author speculates death accidental”. El Paso Herald-Post – via newspapers.com.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
John A. Sullivan
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts’s 11th congressional district
March 4, 1907 – August 15, 1914
George H. Tinkham
James Michael Curley
| Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
James Michael Curley