Premier from 1891 to 1897
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FREDERICK PETERS WAS BORN IN Charlottetown on April 8, 1851, the son of Judge James H. Peters of
the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island. He received his early education in city schools and
at Prince of Wales College before gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree from King's College.
Following his graduation, Mr. Peters studied law in England and later returned to Charlottetown where he set up his first law practice. Always a supporter of the Liberal Party, he was first elected to the House of Assembly in 1890. One year later, after a series of by-elections, the government of Neil McLeod found itself in a minority position and Peters was asked to take over the Premiership and form a Government.
He served as Premier until 1893 and although he won personal re-election that year, his party was defeated. He moved to British Columbia in 1897 but retained his Island seat until 1899, even though he was no longer a resident of Prince Edward Island.
He continued his law practice, first in Vancouver and later in Prince Rupert, B.C., until his death in July, 1919.
Perhaps the most significant act during his term as Premier of Prince Edward Island was a bill changing the form of the Island Legislature. Previous to his administration, the Legislature has consisted of two houses, a Legislative Council and a House of Assembly, much the same as the Senate and the House of Commons in the Federal Government today. This system became unnecessary in Prince Edward Island and abolition of the Legislative Council was seriously looked at as a solution. However, such a bill did not have a chance of passing the Upper House so Premier Peters offered a compromise by abolishing both Houses and creating a Legislative Assembly in which members are designed as Councillors and Assemblymen.
Frederick Peters is buried in British Columbia.