PETERS, CHARLES JEFFERY (1802-1863)
PETERS, CHARLES JEFFERY, land surveyor and insurance agent; b. 17 May 1802, s/o Charles Jeffery Peters Sr and Elizabeth Baker; m. 1838, Isabella Smith, of Chester, N.S.; d. Chatham, 13 May 1863.
Charles J. Peters was baptized in 1806, together with a younger brother and sister, by the Anglican rector of Gagetown, but he spent most of his youthful years in Saint John. Like his uncle Thomas H. Peters he was of the social and political elite of colonial New Brunswick, his father being attorney general for twenty years and many of his closest relatives enjoying positions of privilege and influence.
Peters came to the Miramichi about 1831 as a deputy provincial land surveyor. In 1832 he mapped the course of the Nepisiguit River. In 1843 he was made a sales agent for crown lands He was fully occupied at this work until 1849, when he suffered an injury which prevented him from continuing to engage in the strenuous outdoor work of a land surveyor. He was still able to conduct crown land sales, however, and he also began to sell insurance. In 1858, without consulting him, provincial officials appointed William Parker as crown land agent in the part of the county in which he had been working for fifteen years. When he demanded to know why, he was told that he had not been dismissed, but that his district had been reduced in size, to nothing, it would seem!
Peters was an overseer of the poor for Chatham parish in 1844, at which time he was appointed to the Northumberland and Gloucester Board of Health. This board was created that year to manage the outbreak of leprosy in the Tracadie area. Peters had specific responsibility for hunting down and returning escaped leprosy patients to the lazaretto. Most of the escapees did not return willingly, of course, and more than once he "contended against firearms and weapons such as axes, pitch forks, and clubs." Because of the risks involved he resigned from the board in 1847.
In recognition of his achievement in mapping the Nepisiguit River, Peters had a mountain peak named for him. Mount Peters stands near the northern boundary of Northumberland County, not far from Mount Cooney. He and his wife, Isabella Smith, had eight children, several of whom died young. Their eldest daughter, Emma Peters, married Dr William A. Thomson, a son of Dr John Thomson, and after his early death, she became the second wife of William Wyse. Their daughter Isabella Peters married William Murray, a general merchant in Chatham in the 1860s who came to the Miramichi from Pictou, N.S.
[b] Peters family data [m] NB Courier 1 Sep 1838 [d] Gleaner 16 May 1863 / DCB (re. Charles Jeffery Peters Sr); Gleaner 27 May 1843, 7 Feb 1844, 1 May 1849, 27 May 1850, 4 Sep 1858; Losier/Pinet; PANB (Executive Council minutes, 18 Jun 1847); Rayburn; scrapbook #23