We first meet Peter Howard in the South Carolina Assembly where he speaks out in support of Colonel Harry Burwell's request that the state join in the fight for independence. As he speaks, he tells of losing part of his leg and much of his hearing while fighting for the British during the French and Indian War. After the assembly meeting, Gabriel Martin speaks with Anne Howard, who turns out to be Peter's daughter.
As Gabriel begins courting Anne, Peter Howard doesn't show any worry or disapproval of Gabriel. His hearing problem allows a couple of ribald jokes out of place for the time and characters, but humorous to a modern audience. He shows his support for the Patriot cause by providing supplies to Benjamin Martin's militia. He is killed along with his wife, daughter and many of the townpeople of Pembroke when Colonel William Tavington orders the church burned with them inside.
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