Williams, Peter, Jr.
- Graham Hodges
Williams, Peter, Jr. (1780?–17 October 1840), clergyman and abolitionist, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the son of Peter Williams, a slave, and Mary Durham, a black indentured servant from St. Kitts. A patriot soldier during the American Revolution, his father was sexton and undertaker for John Street Methodist Church in New York City. In an unusual arrangement, the church in 1783 purchased him from his departing Loyalist master and allowed him to purchase himself over time, completing his freedom in 1796. A founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church and a tobacconist and funeral home owner, he was a leader of the small black middle class in New York City....