Elizabeth Peck

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Elizabeth Peck's Geni Profile

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Elizabeth Peck

Birthdate: (71)
Death: 1807 (71)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Thomas Handasyde Peck and Elizabeth Peck
Wife of James Perkins
Mother of Elizabeth "Betsy" Sturgis; Ann Maynard Cushing; James Perkins; Thomas Handasyde Perkins, Sr.; Samuel Gardiner Perkins and 2 others
Sister of John Peck

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Peck


Elizabeth Peck Perkins (1736-1807), was a Boston widow, businesswoman, & philanthropist. She was the oldest child of English immigrants Elizabeth & Thomas Handasyd Peck. Her father became a successful fur trader & hatter; an outspoken Whig; & a friend of John Murray, the founder of Universalism in America.

When she was 18, Elizabeth married James Perkins (1733-1773), an employee of her father’s countinghouse who later became a general-store merchant. Unfortunately, after less than 20 years of marriage, Perkins died leaving his wife with 8 children to feed & clothe & educate, a 9th having died as an infant.

Elizabeth Perkins resolved to establish her own business. She opened a variety store, where she told chinaware, glass, wine, & a wide range of other imported items.

She was deeply concerned with the mental illness she saw about her. In 1800, she helped found the Boston Female Asylum, the 1st charitable institution in Boston established by women. She served the asylum as a director & supported it financially both during her lifetime & in her will.

Elizabeth Peck Perkins continued to own considerable real estate in the Boston business district throughout her life. Until her death in 1807, she lived with the simplicity she had adopted during the years she was a single mother raising 8 children. She did most of her own housework wearing plain dresses of brown calico in the morning & changing to brown silk in the afternoon, when civic leaders & visitors might call requesting her financial assistance with another charitable endeavor.


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Elizabeth Peck's Timeline

January 18, 1756
Age 20
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
May 25, 1759
Age 23
March 30, 1761
Age 25
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
December 15, 1764
Age 28
Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
May 24, 1767
Age 31
Boston, MA, USA
Age 37
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
Age 71