After graduating from Princeton, Peter Early continued to study law in Philadelphia from 1792-1795 In 1795 he moved to Georgia with his father, Joel Smith Early, and quickly began to make a name for himself in Lexington (Oglethorpe County)
Elected to serve on the University of Georgia board of trustees in 1797, Early was tapped to replace John Milledge in Congress when the popular Milledge was elected governor. He would return to the House of Representatives twice, elected in 1802 and 1804. After his 1804 term Early decided not to run again, instead accepting a judgeship in the newly created Ocmulgee Circuit.
Elected to serve as governor during the War of 1812, Early retained his popularity until he vetoed the Alleviating Act, which gave debtors rights against their creditors. The legislature overrode Governor Early's veto, and elected David Byrdie Micthell as governor in 1815.
Peter Early was not through with politics. The same year that he left the governorship the Georgian began a term as state senator.