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The Family Papers of John Langeloth Loeb and Frances “Peter” Lehman Loeb

November 18, 2022
by Tanya Elder

In Honor of Their 96th Wedding Anniversary

John and “Peter” on their Honeymoon in St. Moritz, winter 1926

On November 18, 1926, John Langeloth Loeb and Frances “Peter” Lehman Loeb were married in the New York City mansion of her grandfather, Adolph Lewisohn, located across from Central Park at 881 Fifth Avenue. Among those in attendance were her father, Arthur Lehman, of the second-generation Lehman Brothers, and brother of future NYS Governor Herbert Lehman; her mother, Adele Lewisohn; John’s father, business executive Carl M. Loeb; and John’s mother, Adeline Moses, of the Moses family of South Carolina. Their nuptials were a dream wedding, and a powerful merger of two of the wealthiest families of Jewish entrepreneurs, bankers, and philanthropists of the late 19th and 20th centuries. John and Frances—known mostly by her nickname “Peter,” after the title character of Peter Pan, which debuted on Broadway two years before her birth—would remain married for close to seventy years.

Loeb Wedding Certificate, 1926

Ninety-six years after their nuptials, we are pleased to announce the completion of the archival processing of their personal and family papers, donated by their son, Ambassador John Langeloth Loeb, Jr.

The collection consists of 70 linear feet of correspondence, including international, national, and local political and business records; art collection purchase and loan documentation; and the philanthropic planning records of the family, whose name graces buildings and a boathouse, and who donated to hospitals, museums, and universities. The collection also documents the entirety of John and Peter’s life together as a family, with material on their children, Judith, John, Ann, Arthur, and Deborah; and their relationship with the Bronfman family of Montreal.

John and “Peter’s” 60th Wedding Anniversary party at the Plaza Hotel, November 18, 1986.

The oldest item in the collection is the first of Arthur Lehman’s five albums of travel photography. It contains photo postcards of all the destinations he and his brothers, Herbert and Irving, took while visiting family in Bavaria in 1893. Four other albums document trips to destinations around the world that he and his wife, Adele, took between 1927 and 1935, including a 1935 Southern Hemisphere trip on the RMS Franconia. Also included is a rare Cunard-produced travel log with handwritten notes, photographs taken onboard the ship, and snapshots of ports of call.

John and “Peter” on their 60th Wedding Anniversary, at Plaza Hotel, November 18, 1986.

John and “Peter” were the ultimate power couple of the 20th century. When they died in 1996, Frances in May of emphysema, and John in December of age and grief, they had been married for almost 70 years. In 1986, they celebrated their 60th anniversary at the Plaza Hotel with their closest friends, including socialites, investment bankers, artists, and royals. The AJHS is delighted to honor them on their 96th wedding anniversary.