Phillips Family


Phillips Family
   HPL was descended from Asaph Phillips (1764–1829) and his wife Esther Phillips (1767–1842). HPL visited the site of their homestead on Howard Hill in Foster, R.I., in 1929. Asaph’s descent from Michael Phillips (d. 1686), Newport freeman of 1668, is not proven but is given by Henry Byron Phillips in his Phillips genealogy at the California State Genealogical Society. HPL’s late claim that Michael was the youngest son of the Rev. George Phillips (d. 1644), a 1630 emigrant who became minister of Watertown, Mass., is unsupported by any authority and almost certainly specious. Asaph and Esther had eight children, the youngest of whom was Captain Jeremiah Phillips (1800–1848), who married Robie Rathbun (1797–1848) in 1823. During the 1820s Jeremiah served in the militia. His political persuasions can be inferred not only from his profession and background but from the fact that he gave his son Whipple (1833–1904) the middle name Van Buren in honor of Martin Van Buren, who had been inaugurated as Andrew Jackson’s vice president on March 4, 1833. Jeremiah purchased the Isaac Blanchard grist mill on the Moosup River in 1833 and was tragically crushed to death when his long coat accidentally got caught in its gearing. Their mother Robie having died the previous July, the four surviving children (two sons and two daughters) were left as orphans. One of these, Whipple V.Phillips, was HPL’s grandfather. HPL also had some contact with his grand-uncle, James Wheaton Phillips (1830–1901).
   See Kenneth W.Faig, Jr., Some of the Descendants of Asaph Phillips and Esther Whipple of Foster, Rhode Island (Glendale, Ill.: Moshassuck Press, 1993).

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