The Tudor Place archival collection of approximately 300 linear feet or 250,000 items consists of the personal papers of the Peter family from the mid-18th century to 1983. It includes correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, financial records, inventories, blueprints, architectural drawings, and ephemera. In addition, a substantial collection of 5,000 books from the 18th through 20th centuries and mid-19th-century photographs complete this rare resource for students and scholars.
Click on the name below to view a description of the documents in the archive that pertain to that person
MS-1. Robert Peter (1726-1806) Papers -- 1 linear foot
The correspondence, subject files, and financial and legal documents in these papers deal almost exclusively with the land transactions of Robert Peter, the first mayor of Georgetown, and the settlement of his estate. The material spans the years 1746-1814 and is fragmentary.
MS-2. Thomas (1769-1834) and Martha Custis Peter (1777-1854) Papers -- 1 linear foot
These papers consist of correspondence, subject files, and financial and legal documents, that deal with the financial transactions of Thomas Peter. The material spans the period 1796-1848 and is highly fragmentary. Highlights include: business correspondence with George Washington; information on Thomas Peter's land holdings; the purchase of the Tudor Place property; and a list of the slaves Martha Custis Peter brought to the marriage as part of her dowry. Martha Custis Peter was a granddaughter of Martha Washington.
MS-3. Martha Washington (1731-1802) Papers -- 0.5 linear foot
This material spans 1770-1811, and includes letters of condolence on George Washington's death, as well as other documents relating to the settlement of his estate and the estate of Martha Washington. Included in this collection is one of the two known surviving letters from George to Martha Washington, written on June 18, 1775 as he assumed command of the Continental Army.
MS-4. Major George Peter (1779-1861) Papers -- 1 linear foot
These papers include correspondence, subject files, legal and financial documents, and printed material ranging in date from 1800-1854, and therefore provide a record of the activities of Major George Peter, resident of Georgetown and Montgomery County, MD. This collection includes his military career from 1800-1809 when he served with General James Wilkinson, his service in Congress, and his land holdings in Montgomery County. Major George Peter was a brother of Thomas Peter.
MS-5. Custis-Lee Family Papers -- 0.5 linear foot
This material from 1801-1857 consists chiefly of correspondence and other documents written by and relating to George Washington Parke Custis, a grandson of Martha Washington and brother of Martha Peter. Members of the Robert E. Lee family are also represented.
MS-6. Martha Custis Williams Carter (1827-1899) Papers -- 2.5 linear feet
This collection holds correspondence, subject files, scrapbook material, and diaries. The diaries of 1852 and 1853 include observations of a young American woman traveling in England and France; a brief diary of 1862 mentions war-torn Washington; and a diary of 1878 describes her first year of marriage. A large portion of this grouping relates to Carter’s brother Colonel Laurence Abert Williams' reinstatement in the U.S. Army; another portion includes information on her brother Captain William Orton Williams of the Confederate States of America. Martha Custis Williams Carter was the eldest daughter of Captain William G. and America Williams and the wife of Rear Admiral Samuel Powhatan Carter; she was a granddaughter of Thomas and Martha Peter.
MS-7. Britannia Wellington Peter Kennon (1815-1911) Papers -- 3 linear feet
This collection includes correspondence, subject files, legal and financial documents, and printed materials from 1828-1911. Britannia Kennon was mistress of Tudor Place from 1854 to 1911. Of particular interest are household accounts, bills and receipts relating to Tudor Place from 1860-1911, and materials related to the estates of her husband, Commodore Beverley Kennon, and her father, Thomas Peter. Also included are subject files on some community activities in Georgetown and Washington, including founding of patriotic societies during the Colonial Revival. Britannia Kennon was the mother of Martha Custis Kennon Peter, and a daughter of Thomas and Martha Peter.
MS-8. Commodore Beverley Kennon I (1793-1844) Papers -- 0.3 linear foot
These papers include correspondence from 1821-32 with Robert Beverley of Blandfield, Virginia, and a will. Commodore Kennon was the husband of Britannia Peter Kennon.
MS-9. Captain Beverley Kennon II (1830-1890) Papers -- 0.3 linear foot
These papers span 1845-96, and contain fragmentary correspondence, legal and financial records, and printed material. They relate to Kennon’s service during the Civil War with the Confederate Secret Service and later with the Khedive of Egypt. Captain Beverley Kennon II was the son of Commodore Beverley Kennon by his first marriage to Elizabeth Dandridge Claiborne.
MS-10. Martha Custis Kennon Peter (1843-1886) Papers -- 0.3 linear foot
Fragmentary correspondence and scrapbook material from 1850-1886 are included in this collection. Martha Kennon Peter was the daughter of Commodore and Britannia Kennon, and the wife of Dr. Armistead Peter.
MS-11. Sarah Law Williams (1837-1912) Papers -- 2.5 linear feet
This collection is composed of correspondence, subject files, legal and financial documents, diaries, and ephemera from 1856-1912, and document the life of a wealthy woman who traveled extensively and lived in New York City and in Cambridge, NY. Sarah Law Williams was the wife of Colonel Laurence Abert Williams, and the daughter of George Law, a wealthy New York businessman.
MS-12. Colonel Laurence Abert Williams (1833-1879) Papers -- 0.5 linear foot
Correspondence, subject files, and printed material from 1842-78 include information on Williams’ education and marriage, and his efforts to be reinstated in the United States Army after the Civil War. Colonel Laurence Williams was the son of Captain William G. and America Williams; he was a grandson of Thomas and Martha Peter.
MS-13. Dr. Armistead Peter (1840-1902) Papers -- 3 linear feet
These papers include correspondence, subject files, and financial records from 1861-1902. Personal material relates to the life of the prominent Georgetown physician and his family, as well as material on the execution of his brother Walter Gibson Peter and cousin William Orton Williams as Confederate spies in 1863. Some materials, including call books and ledgers from Peter’s medical practice from 1862-97, document his career. Dr. Armistead Peter was the husband of Martha Kennon Peter; their son Armistead Peter, Jr., became third owner of Tudor Place.
MS-14. Armistead Peter, Jr., (1870-1960) Papers -- 75 linear feet
This large collection holds correspondence, subject files, legal and financial documents, diaries, printed material, and ephemera from 1892-1960. Owner of Tudor Place from 1911 to 1960, Peter’s diaries record everyday life from the 1890s almost to the end of his life. There are extensive records of the renovations of Tudor Place in 1914 and voluminous writings on the genealogy of the family, reminiscences of his grandmother Britannia Kennon, and notes on objects in the collection. The development of the garden is also documented. Armistead Peter, Jr., married Anna Williams Peter; their son Armistead Peter III became fourth owner of Tudor Place.
MS-15. Augustine Haines (ca. 1810-ca. 1875) Papers -- 2.5 linear feet
These papers are composed of correspondence and subject files from 1809-67. Haines was a resident of Portland, Maine, and an agent for the Laconia Textile Mills. He was the father of George Augustine Haines, and father-in-law of Josephine Haines.
MS-16. Josephine Law May Haines (1834-1899) Papers -- 2 linear feet
This collection consists of correspondence, subject files, legal and financial documents, and printed material from 1877-1901, and document the life of a sophisticated and wealthy American woman in Europe, especially at her home on Lake Como in Italy. Some material relates to the estate of her father, George Law, an influential American transportation entrepreneur who lived in New York City and Cambridge, NY. She was the wife of George Augustine Haines and a sister of Sarah Law Williams.
MS-17. George Augustine Haines (1843-1915) Papers -- 13.5 linear feet
These papers include correspondence from 1871-1914, subject files from 1894-1913, and legal and financial documents from 1897-1914. George Haines was active in stock market dealings; he dealt with important financiers of his time. The bulk of the material concerns renovations to his wife's home on Lake Como, 1895-1905, and includes scrapbook material, sketches, postcards, and ephemera. George Haines was the second husband of Josephine Law May Haines.
MS-18. Anna Williams Peter (1872-1961) Papers -- 8 linear feet
This collection holds correspondence, subject files, legal and financial documents, printed material, and ephemera from 1893-1961. The material, which is fragmentary after 1923, documents the daily life of a wealthy woman in New York and Washington in the late 19th and early 20th century. Receipts from the renovation of her country house in Cambridge, NY, show the cost of a large-scale renovation, and the materials and manpower required for such a venture in the period 1920-23. Records of servants and their wages document the social and economic conditions of the time. Anna Williams Peter was the wife of Armistead Peter, Jr., and the daughter of Colonel Laurence and Sarah Williams.
MS-19. Paul Wayland Bartlett (1865-1925) Papers -- 8 linear feet
The correspondence from 1887-1925 documents the personal and professional life of an American sculptor who worked in Paris and Washington. Bartlett’s commissions of note include the Lafayette statue in Paris, a pediment on the United States Capitol, and proposed Washington, DC, monuments never completed. Other materials, including drawings, photos, bills, and printed material, record many aspects of the career of this artist. This collection complements the Bartlett Papers at the Library of Congress, and relates to Bartlett sculpture at Tudor Place and other museums across the United States. Paul Wayland Bartlett’s stepdaughter, Caroline, married Armistead Peter III.
MS-20. Suzanne Earle Ogden-Jones Emmons Bartlett (1861-1954) Papers -- 5 linear feet
The wife of sculptor Paul Wayland Bartlett, Suzanne Bartlett’s papers include correspondence, photographs, and other materials important to the study of Bartlett's work and the disposition of his estate, both financial and artistic. Additional correspondence and other materials document Suzanne Bartlett's life in Washington, DC, and Paris, and her relationship with her daughter Caroline, who married Armistead Peter III.
MS-21. Armistead Peter 3rd (1896-1983) Papers -- 100 linear feet
This collection holds correspondence and subject files from 1899-1983. Armistead Peter III was the owner of Tudor Place from 1960-83. This material is extensive regarding house and garden restoration projects, Peter’s work on his book Tudor Place, and the establishment of the Tudor Place Foundation. Financial records here are important in recording purchases for the estate, repairs and renovations of the house, expenses of daily life, and records of servants. The financial records of Armistead Peter, Jr., from the 1920s onward are also included here, as Armistead Peter III took over the management of Tudor Place from his father. Material also documents his career in the U.S. Navy during World Wars I and II, and his artistic career.
MS-22. Caroline Ogden-Jones Peter (1894-1965) Papers -- 15 linear feet
Caroline Peter was the first wife of the last owner of Tudor Place, Armistead Peter III, and was the stepdaughter of Paul Wayland Bartlett. Beside household accounts and personal correspondence relating to life at Tudor Place and the family's New York farm, these papers include information about the distribution of Bartlett sculpture to museums throughout the United States and settlement of Suzanne Bartlett's estate.
MS-23. Anne Custis Peter Pearre (1922-1985) Papers -- 15 linear feet
This collection includes personal correspondence, literary manuscripts, artwork, academic papers and records, financial documents, and scrapbook and printed materials dating from the birth of Armistead and Caroline Peter’s daughter in 1922 to her marriage in 1953. The bulk of the collection is composed of correspondence from family members (1941-52) and academic papers (1929-44). Special subject files include education and social events.
MS-24. Photograph Collection -- 50 linear feet
This extensive collection dates from the 1840s to 1984. It includes daguerreotypes, glass plates, cartes de visite, studio photos, black and white 20th-century prints, color slides, and home movies, and documents family members, family activities and trips, domestic help, residences both interior and exterior, and the garden.
The Tudor Place archival program has as its specific mission the preservation of the Collection bequeathed by Armistead Peter 3rd, facilitation of the Collection's use, and acquisition of related manuscripts. The Collection Management Policy calls for the acquisition of materials related to the Custis-Peter family and its collateral branches, the property from the 1790s to the present, and the social and economic history of Georgetown and Washington, DC, as they pertain to the history of Tudor Place. The arrangement and description of the Tudor Place Manuscript Collection were made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.