John A. Peters (1822–1904)

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John A. Peters, Maine Congressman and Judge.

John Andrew Peters (October 9, 1822 – April 2, 1904) was a U.S. Congressman from Maine, and the uncle of John Andrew Peters. He was also Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.


Born the son of a lumber merchant in Ellsworth, Maine, Peters attended Gorham Academy, Yale College (grad. 1842), where he was a member of Skull and Bones,[1] and Harvard Law School (1843–44). He was admitted to the bar in 1844 and commenced practice in Bangor, Maine. He represented Bangor in the Maine State Senate in 1862 and 1863, and then the Maine House of Representatives in 1864. He was Attorney General of Maine 1864-1866.[2]

Following the war Peters was elected as a Republican to the Fortieth, Forty-first, and Forty-second U.S. Congresses (March 4, 1867 – March 3, 1873), but declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1872. He then served as justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (1873–1883), becoming chief justice from 1883 until January 1, 1900, when he resigned. He was succeeded as Chief Justice by his nephew, Andrew Peters Wiswell.[2]

While serving in the U.S. Congress, Peters was Chairman of the Committee on the Congressional Library (the Library of Congress), and a member of the Judiciary Committee.[2]

Peters' first wife, Mary Ann Hathaway, was the daughter of his law partner, Joshua W. Hathaway, who became judge of the Bangor District Court in 1849. His second wife was Fannie E. Roberts, daughter of Bangor "lumber baron" Amos M. Roberts. His brother-in-law, Charles W. Roberts of Bangor, was a Civil War general and post-war Democratic Party candidate for Governor of Maine.[2]

Peters died in Bangor, Maine on April 2, 1904 and was interred in Mount Hope Cemetery.


  1. ^ Adams, George Moulton. "Memoirs of the New-England Historic Genealogical Society: 1904". The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. New England Historic Genealogical Society. 59: lxxxv. 
  2. ^ a b c d Obituary, Record of Graduates of Yale University (New Haven, 1903-04), p. 305

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Josiah Hayden Drummond
Maine Attorney General
Succeeded by
William P. Frye
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John H. Rice
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 4th congressional district

March 4, 1867 – March 3, 1873
Succeeded by
Samuel F. Hersey
Legal offices
Preceded by
Edward Kent
Associate Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court
May 20, 1873 – September 20, 1883
Succeeded by
Lucilius A. Emery
Preceded by
John Appleton
Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court
September 20, 1883 – January 1, 1900
Succeeded by
Andrew Peters Wiswell