Peter Williams Jr.

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circa 1830


Patrick Reason


Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University
Born in 1786, Peter Williams Jr. affiliated with Trinity Church in the first decade of the nineteenth century. He was among the group of parishioners who pushed for the establishment of a separate and independent black parish. After years of struggle with the Episcopal diocese, Williams was finally ordained priest in 1826, thus becoming St. Philip's first black minister. He was an important leader not only of his church but also in the black community, working tirelessly on behalf of the antislavery cause, the education of black youth, and the civil rights of black New Yorkers. Williams died in 1840.


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Patrick Reason, “Peter Williams Jr.,” Black Gotham Archive, accessed July 10, 2018,