Andrew James Peters

Andrew James Peters

Andrew James Peters
Andrew James Peters circa 1918[1]
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1907 – August 15, 1914
Preceded by John A. Sullivan
Succeeded by George H. Tinkham
42nd Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
In office
Preceded by James M. Curley
Succeeded by James M. Curley
Personal details
Born April 3, 1872
West Roxbury, Massachusetts
Died July 26, 1938(1938-07-26) (aged 66)
Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Martha Peters
Alma mater Harvard Law School
Occupation Lawyer

Andrew James Peters (April 3, 1872 – July 26, 1938) was an American politician. He was born on April 3, 1872 in Jamaica Plain, a section of Boston. His family had been in Massachusetts since the first Andrew Peters arrived there in 1657. Peters attended Harvard University and Harvard Law School. He served two terms (1904, 1905) in the Massachusetts State Legislature. In 1906 he was elected to Congress where he would serve from 1907 to 1914.[2] In 1914 he was appointed to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under William Gibbs McAdoo in the first administration of President Woodrow Wilson. He served there until 1918 when he began his term as Mayor of Boston.

Peters' term as Mayor is remembered for his handling of the Boston Police Strike in 1919.

Peters was considered for the governorship later in the 1920s but was not nominated.

Peters' reputation also suffered because of his relationship with a young relative of his wife. He had married Martha Phillips in 1910, and together bore six children. Mrs. Peters cousin, Mrs. Helen Faithfull, had a young daughter named Starr Wyman, later Starr Faithfull, who attracted Peters' attention in 1917. Eventually he had an affair with the eleven year old Starr[3] and paid money to her mother and stepfather to keep the story quiet. Starr died under mysterious circumstances on Long Island, New York 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.

Peters died of pneumonia on 26 June 1938.

See also


  1. ^ The Municipal Register for 1918, Boston, MA: The City of Boston, 1917, p. 2 
  2. ^ "Massachusetts",  
  3. ^ Russel, Francis. A City in Terror: Calvin Coolidge and the 1919 Boston Police Strike. p. 70. 


  • 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 House of Representatives
Preceded by
John A. Sullivan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 11th congressional district

March 4, 1907 – August 15, 1914
Succeeded by
George H. Tinkham
Political offices
Preceded by
James Michael Curley
Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts
Succeeded by
James Michael Curley