Peter Lee


In Affectionate Memory of Peter Lee

His grandparents Peter and Nancy were slaves In the family of James Alexander, Attorney General of the Province of New York and were given to his daughter Elizabeth, wife of John Stevens, Vice President of the New Jersey Council during the Revolutionary war. Peter was freed by the New Jersey Law, but remained all his life at Castle Point, where he faithfully served five generations.  He was conditionally baptized in this church in 1889 and entered into rest in his ninety-ninth year.  After receiving the Consolation of Religion in the Communion of the Catholic Church of your Charity Pray for the repose of his Soul.  "Whatever Good Thing Any Man Doeth The Same Shall Receive Of The Lord Whether He Be Bond Or Free"

Peter Lee, in whose memory the tablet with the above inscription, was placed in the Episcopal Church of the Holy Innocents, in Hoboken, New Jersey, and without some mention of whom no history of the Stevens Family, or of Castle Point, is complete, was buried in the Stevens family burial plot in Hoboken Cemetery.

"Peter Lee", wrote Colonel Edwin A. Stevens (II), "was born at Castle Point.  When twenty-one years of age, he asked my grandfather, (Colonel John Stevens), to let him go into the world.  He received permission to go, with kindly advice to stay, and left Castle Point.  Two days later, the family was awakened by a loud noise and, upon investigation, found Peter scolding and thrashing the colored boy who had replaced him.  This done, he resumed his duties, but would never tell where he had been or why he returned.  Upon one occasion, Peter having received $12.00 from my father, Edwin A. Stevens (I), decided to buy a watch, and, , not being able to count beyond ten, 'bargained' for some time with a jeweler, in Hoboken, until 'he succeeded' in obtaining one priced at ten dollars, for the money my father had given him.  He had a remarkable memory, and upon, skillful questioning by my brother Albert, would tell of Henry Hudson's arrival in the Hudson.  During the latter years of my mother's (Martha Bayard Stevens) life, Peter, despite his feebleness, insisted, no matter how formal the occasion, upon his ancient Prerogatives of seating her at the table, and serving the wine; it meant nothing to him if he sometimes spilled some of the wine on the table.  After my mother's death in 1899, he consented to retire, but continued to wear the gray and blue livery that had been used in my grandmother's (Rachel Cox Stevens) household, until his death, at the age of ninety-eight years, in the small house, below the Point, occupied by the gardener in charge of the greenhouse, and the flower gardens."