Sampson Peters House and Cooper Shop

Sampson Peters was a significant figure in Trenton’s African-American
community of the early nineteenth century for his role as a founding member and
minister of the Religious Society of Free Africans of the City of Trenton,
predecessor to Mount Zion A.M.E. Church. Born into slavery in East Windsor
Township, Peters was exposed to Methodism through his owner, Joseph
Hutchinson. Peters was manumitted in 1802 and moved to Trenton, where he
established a cooper shop. His shop served as the first meeting place of the
Society until around 1819, when the first church building was erected on Perry
Street. Peters was a member of the Philadelphia Conference of the A.M.E.
church and traveled widely on the church circuit. Peters helped organize Mount
Pisgah A.M.E. Church in Princeton in 1832. Peters was an abolitionist and was
outspoken against the American Colonization Society, which sought to return free
Blacks and slaves to Africa. He reportedly lived to an old age and died in Trenton
at the home of his daughter. The location of Peters’ residence and cooper shop is
unknown; however, tax records indicate that in 1809 he was living in Nottingham
Township (portions of which are now in the City of Trenton and Hamilton
Township).

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