Peterboro is a historic hamlet in Madison County. It was founded in 1795 by wealthy fur trader Peter Smith, who named the settlement after himself. In the 1820, Peter’s son Gerrit Smith consolidated his father’s business interests and expanded them, becoming a multi-millionaire. He supported radical reform causes from abolition to suffrage to dress reform, conducted New York’s first completed antislavery meeting, and clandestinely co-funded John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry.
Peterboro retains the bucolic character of an early nineteenth-century village arranged around a central green. It is the site of the Gerrit Smith Estate and the National Abolition Hall of Fame.