Samuel Phillips (2nd) was a founder of the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Together with his uncle, John, and his father, Samuel, he also helped found Phillips Exeter Academy, and Andover Theological Seminary. Here is his story from Phillips Genealogies; Including the Family of George Phillips, First Minister of Watertown, Mass., through most of the traceable branches from 1630 to the present generation; (et al.) Compiled by Albert M. Phillips, Auburn, Worcester Co., Mass., Sept. 22, 1885, pp.20-24.
Hon. Samuel Phillips (son of Samuel and Elizabeth: No. 5,) commonly known as Judge Phillips, was born Feb. 7, 1750; grad. Harv. Coll., 1771; a member of the Provincial Congress at Watertown, 1775; Lieut.-Governor. He was the only heir to a large estate; but with a spirit of heroic self-sacrifice, he prevailed on his father to divert the property, which would legally fall to him, to the founding of the Academy at Andover. And it is to this self-sacrificing spirit, his benevolent heart, his desire to promote the education and good morals of the youth in his community, and check the growth of vice which he saw spreading with the advance of civilization, by the establishment, in his native town, of a permanent school worthy of the Commonwealth in which he lived, that the institution owes its existence. A long distance in advance of the people of his day, his deep and far-seeing mind conceived the original design, and he cautiously, deliberately and wisely drafted the constitution, now in service for both this and the Exeter Academy.
“This instrument, with its multitudinous emendations, erasures, and additions, bears witness to the minute care with which the founders sought to formulate the principles of the schools. …. No one can read this paper without perceiving its weight and perspicuity. It was formerly, and perhaps now is, read yearly at the meetings of the board of trustees, and drew from one member, who had sat on the board for forty years, the remark that its language seemed to him more like inspiration than any thing else except the Bible. The constitution, while defining the courses of study and discipline, the duties of trustees and masters—not omitting to caution the trustees against extravagant entertainment at their yearly dinner— lays great emphasis on the conduct of the students, and the means to be taken for education in morality and religion, declaring that ‘above all, it is expected that the master’s attention to the disposition of the minds and morals of the youth under his charge will exceed every other care; well considering that though goodness without knowledge (as it respects others) is weak and feeble, yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous, and that both united form the noblest character, and lay the surest foundation of usefulness to mankind.’ ” [Harper’s Magazine, Vol. 55, p. 564.]
“Samuel Phillips was an extraordinary man; but it is difficult to give, at this day, a just expression of his character. The religious and moral element in it were mixed so intimately, and yet so unaffectedly, with the business of the world and the habits of active life, that he seemed to be a perfect embodiment of the Christian statesman, scholar, and philanthropist I have never met, through my whole life, with an individual in whom the spirit of Christianity and of good-will to mankind were so naturally blended with an indomitable energy and enterprise in active life. He was a leader in the church, a leader in the State; the young loved and listened to him, the old consulted and deferred to his advice In his capacity for business, there was, as it were, an universality or ubiquity. In the town, in the Senate, in the courts of justice, in committees of the legislature, as a referee in cases of great importance, in all other associations or affairs of business, his influence was, as far as was possible in respect of any one man, paramount. For twenty years he was a member, and for fifteen years president, of the Senate of the State, at a period when Statesmen were not made out of every sort of wood. He was judge of the Essex Court of Common Pleas, a member of every important committee, on like occasions a referee, and, at the same time, owned and took a general superintendence of two stores, one at Andover, another at Methuen, of a saw-mill, a grist-mill, a paper-mill, and a powder-mill on the Shawshine, giving to each a sufficient and appropriate share of his oversight; with a spirit subdued by the predominancy of the religious sentiment, he was as earnest, active and indefatigable in this multitude of his engagements, as though this world was everything.” [Extract from a letter written by Josiah Quincy(1,4) to Rev. John L. Taylor, dated Boston, Dec. 13, 1855, in Memoir of Judge Phillips.]
“He was religious in study, in trade, in neighborly kindness, in domestic life, in politics, in every civil office, and in his zeal to promote learning, as well as in public worship or public charities. It was emphatically a religious institution which he was intent upon establishing; a religious vitality which he sought to breathe into all education within its atmosphere. Thus he was intensely methodical and careful. Any one of his hundreds of manuscripts now extant, taken up at random, would be an illustration of this trait. He erased, he interlined, he changed the collocation of words of paragraphs, he put in after-thoughts and side-thoughts, in a common family letter, with as much painstaking as in the draft of a State paper. In writing the most familiar communications to his son or his wife, he would copy, or give an apology for not copying, as if he would not consent to do anything which he was not anxious to do well ; and the same scrupulous exactness was shown by him through the whole circuit of his labors, not more as a habit than as a purpose. . . . So, too, he was a prodigy of activity: not of haste and bustle, but of rapid, effective labor, in a quiet, unrutted spirit. His equilibrium was one secret of his momentum. Serene and sunny in temperament, he sang with the morning and evening birds. Men everywhere said, ‘he is too busy,’ ‘he will soon be spent,’ but he heard them not; work had a charm for him—any work, all work, if so be it were only good Ho cherished a special fondness for the young Companion of Statesmen as he was, and a proverb for his gravity, he was never more in his element than when conversing with a little child, or dropping his goodly maxims, like the gentle dew, into the heart of some listening youth.” [Memoir of Judge Phillips, pp. 266, 303, 304, 310, 311. By Rev. John L. Taylor(2).]
His business very often took him to Boston; and it was his habit after the close of the fatiguing labors of the day in that place, to mount his horse and ride to Andover, arriving at home about midnight. His friends remonstrated against this imprudence, but he gave them little heed, feeling that all available time should be devoted to useful labor. This exposure of his health, which was never very firm, with constant and incessant application to the extensive round of his business duties, doubtless laid the foundation, as is almost invariably the case under like circumstances, for the physical troubles which terminated his days of great usefulness, when not much past what is usually considered middle life. He left by will, four thousand dollars to be added to the fund for maintaining instruction in divinity in connection with the Andover Academy. Although his father, Hon. Samuel Phillips the elder, in connection with the brother, Dr. John Phillips, of Exeter, is regarded, and not improperly, as founder of Phillips Academy on account of his magnificent life-gifts and bequests ; yet, to style Hon. Samuel Phillips the younger, as the founder of that institution, while doing no injustice to his worthy parent or liberal-minded uncle, is but yielding to him the honor to which he is justly entitled. In the connection of the two Samuels, father and son, with the establishment of Phillips Academy it is difficult to separate them. They were considerably associated with each other in the pursuits of life, and in the accomplishment of their grand design they acted in harmony. Two more useful and noble men, or more worthy, upright and high minded citizens, from one family, never honored, or were honored by, the Commonwealth in which they lived. He died Feb. 10, 1802, aged 52. He married, July 6, 1773, Phebe Foxcroft, born Aug. 12, 1743, dau. of Hon. Francis Foxcroft, of Cambridge. She died Oct. 7, 1812, aged 69.
1. John, b. Oct. 18, 1776. (No. 8.)
2. Samuel ; d. 1796.
1. Josiah Quincy III was Samuel Phillips (1750-1802) nephew. His parents were Josiah Quincy II (1744–1775) and Abigail Phillips (1745–1798). His Mother’s father was William Phillips, Sr. (1722–1804), son of Rev. Samuel Phillips (1690-1771) and Hannah White (m.1687-1703) son of Rev. Samuel Phillips (1657-1722). He served as second mayor of Boston, after John Phillips (1770–1823)(3).
2. Rev. John L. Taylor was at Andover Theological Seminary.
3. John Phillips (1770-1823), son of William Phillips (1737-1772) and Margaret Wendell (1739-1823), son of John Phillips (1701-1763) and Mary Buttolph (1709-1742), son of Samuel Phillips (1670-1654) and Mary Emerson (1670-1704), son of Samuel Phillips (1626-1696) and Sarah Appleton (1628-1713), son of George Phillips (1592-1644) and Elizabeth Sargent (1605-1630).