The Peter family’s origins in Georgetown can be traced back to family patriarch Robert Peter. Born in 1726 at Crossbasket Castle, the Peter family’s ancestral seat near Lanarkshire, Scotland, Robert Peter arrived in the Maryland colony by 1746. His son, Thomas would marry Martha Parke Custis, one of the four grandchildren of Martha Washington (and step granddaughter of George Washington), and become the owners of Tudor Place in 1805. Learn more about Peter family history in this article that appeared in Bethesda Magazine.
If wealth in 18th-century Montgomery County was measured in land, then the richest man in the county was Robert Peter. Born in 1726 near Glasgow, Scotland, Peter came to America in 1746 as a representative of the Glasgow firm of John Glassford and Co., the Washington, D.C., area’s most prominent tobacco firm, according to the website for Tudor Place, the palatial Georgetown estate built by Peter’s son Thomas (it’s now a museum). Peter initially began his import/export business in Bladensburg, Maryland, with warehouses and weighing stations built in the busy port on the Patuxent River. Eventually Peter helped establish trade centers in nearly every town along the Potomac River.
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