Correspondence of William Smalling Peters

Administrative / Biographical History

PETERS, WILLIAM SMALLING (1779–1853). William S. Peters, the founder of the Peters colony of Texas, was born in Devonshire, England, in 1779 to John Peters. He moved to the New World from near Plymouth in the south of England in 1827 with his wife and six of his children, spent some time in Canada as a military bandmaster, absorbed the ideas of William Godwin and Thomas Paine, and was forty-eight years old when he arrived in the United States. He was preceded by his oldest son, John, who settled in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, in 1823 or 1824 and by his middle son, William C., who immigrated to the United States in 1825 and became a musician in Pittsburgh. Peters joined his oldest son in Blairsville, remained there until 1836, and then moved to Pittsburgh to teach music and help William D. Smith organize the Pittsburgh Sacred Music Society. In 1839 he moved to Louisville to join his son William, who had left Pittsburgh in 1832, and his son-in-law, Samuel Browning, in a musical firm called Peters, Browning, and Company. The firm was dissolved within a few months, when William S. Peters and Samuel Browning left Louisville to find investors for what became known as the Peters colony.

Source: viewed 19/12/11