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Oliver, Peter (17 March 1713–12 October 1791), colonial merchant, iron manufacturer, and jurist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Daniel Oliver, a merchant, and Elizabeth Belcher, daughter of Governor Jonathan Belcher. Disciplined twice at Harvard, first for the theft of a goose and later a turkey, he graduated at the head of his class in 1730, a recognition of his social lineage. In 1733 he received an M.A. by arguing against the proposition that tautology is an ornament of oratory. In the same year he married Mary Clark, daughter of another prominent Boston merchant, Richard Clark. The couple joined Old South Church, where Oliver had inherited his father’s rented pew. They had six children who survived infancy....