Peter Williams, Jr.

religious leader
Born: 1780
Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey

Williams grew up to become active in the Methodist Church. In 1818, with the blessings of prominent white Methodist minister Thomas Lyell, Williams organized a Black congregation in Harlem, St. Philip's African Church. In 1826 he became the first Black Episcopalian priest. In 1827, Williams helped establish a Black-owned abolitionist newspaper, Freedom's Journal. He also managed the American Anti-Slavery Society for two years. While his public reputation was damaged by allegations that he had performed an interracial wedding ceremony, he remained active with his church until his death.

Died: 1840