Peter Howard's Family
The parents of Peter Howard are Peter M. Howard Sr. and Margaret A. Howard. His parents had three other children named Amelia Howard, Helen Howard and Georgie Howard. Howard was a wealthy African American family, in 1870 Peter Howard's personal estate value was listed at $4,000 which when converted to todays value, amounts to around $74,850.
Peter M Howard was a barber and musician. He lived in, "the northwest section of the fifth ward, near the Craigie or Canal Bridge". In John Daniel's 1914 History of the Black Community in Boston, Peter M. Howards Barber Shop, located on Cambridge Street, is described as an, "early rendezvous of those involved in planning ways to assist fugitve slaves en route to Canada". Peter Howards barber shop was also a place where African Americans could recieve temporary employment (Black Bostonians, 76). Howard was an active abolitionist as well. He was a member of the African Baptist Church which participated in antislavery protests. His baber shop was also a station of the underground railroad which helped enslaved indivduals escape to freedom (Black Bostonian, 42, 101).During the mid 1800s a barber shop was a place of political discussions / education and where members of the community could go to exchange ideas. Howards shop, "was a gathering place for all segments of black society"(Black Bostonians, 37).
Howard participated in an amateur band that volunteered their time to performing at events such as the Boston's Minor Exhinition, a society in which African American got together to recite articles and poems. (The Liberator, Saturday, May 21, 1831). In 1833 he was a part of a seven-piece orchestra, in which he played the clarinet, that put on a concert for the church (Black Bostonians, 32) Many times Howard's barber shop would be a place where tickets for shows would be sold (The Liberator, Saturday, April 6, 1833).
Peter M. Howard had been on the commitee to discuss the adoption of a college for African Americans on Ocotber 28th, 1831 (The Liberator, Saturday Nov. 5, 1831) and is known to sign three petitions over the years including the petition for "Equal School Rights" in 1851.
Margaret Howard died in Boston December 19th 1851. She was 61 years old. (Boston Lberator, Friday January 3, 1851). Mrs. Howard was an active church member and was loved by all.