Member Biography

Richard Peters II

Member

Richard Peters2 (ancestry.com)

Sessions Office Position District Party
1790-1791         Federalist
1791-1792         Federalist

Biography

06/22/1743 - 08/22/1828


Captain Richard Peters, II (Federalist) Delaware, Philadelphia City and Philadelphia Counties 1790-1792

Early Life:

Richard Peters, II, born June 22, 1743, Belmont District, Philadelphia, Province of Pennsylvania, British America; son of William and Mary Brientnall Peters; Academy of Philadelphia; College of Philadelphia (now University of Pennsylvania), 1761, M.A., 1765, L.L.D., 1827; studied law; admitted, Philadelphia bar, 1763; lawyer, law practice; married, Sarah “Sally” Robinson, children, Ralph Peters, Richard Peters, Jr., Maria Wilhelmina, Thomas Peters, Sarah Robinson Peters; captain, Revolutionary Army, 1771-1776; Secretary of Board of War; First American Congress, 1776-1781; delegate, Second Continental Congress, 1782-1783; member, Pennsylvania Assembly 1787-1789; elected, Speaker of Pennsylvania Assembly 1789; elected, Federalist, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1790-1792, elected, Pennsylvania Senate first Speaker, 1790-1792; judge, United States District Court, Philadelphia, 1792-1818; judge, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1818-1828; died, August 22, 1828, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; Interment, Saint Peter’s Episcopal Churchyard, city of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.  

Early Career:

Farmer; Appointed, Register of Admiralty; captain, Revolutionary Army, 1771-1776; Secretary of Board of War; First American Congress, 1776-1781; Lawyer; President of Philadelphia Agricultural Society; delegate, Second Continental Congress, 1782-1783; member, Pennsylvania Assembly 1787-1789; elected, Speaker of Pennsylvania Assembly 1789; Federalist, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1790-elected, Pennsylvania Senate first Speaker, 1790- resigned, seat, January 31, 1792; judge, United States District Court, Philadelphia, 1792-1818; judge, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1818-1828.

Authored:

"Admiralty Decisions of the District Court of the United States" (Philadelphia 1807).

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Pennsylvania General Assembly 1787-1790; elected, 36th Speaker, Pennsylvania Assembly 1788-1790.

Elected, Federalist, Charter Member, Pennsylvania State Senate, Delaware, Philadelphia City and Philadelphia Counties, elected, Pennsylvania Senate first Speaker, 1790- resigned, January 31, 1792.

Appointed, judge, United States District Court, Philadelphia, President George Washington, 1792-1818. Appointed, by operation of law, 3 Stat. 462, judge, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1818-1828.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography:

Richard Peters II - PA House of Representatives - PA House of Representatives (state.pa.us)

Legacy:

Last Speaker, unicameral Pennsylvania General Assembly. After the 1790 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, Pennsylvania’s Assembly transitioned from a unicameral to a bicameral legislature became first Pennsylvania State Senate Speaker.

Part of Benjamin Franklin funeral procession from his home to his burial location at Christ Church. 

His home, known as "Belmont Mansion", is open as a museum. Located at 2000 Belmont Mansion Drive, in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, established around it for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition.

Cited: 

Cox, Harold. "Senate Members P"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

A New Nation Votes (tufts.edu)

Belmont District, Pennsylvania - Wikipedia

Richard Peters (upenn.edu)

"Opinions of Richard Peters (1781-1817) " by Joseph Whitla Stinson (upenn.edu)

Richard Peters Jr. (1743-1828) - Find a Grave Memorial 

Congressional Biography

After 2 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Richard Peters II went on to serve in congress