Obituary of Samuel Phillips, 1802


MONDAY, February 15th, 1802.

AT his Seat in Andover, about 2 o’clock, on Wednesday afternoon,


At 50, Lieutenant-Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

A Loss deeply to be deplored by every friend of his State and Country. It is the lot of few to acquire a reputation so bright and unspotted, as that which he possessed, and of fewer still to take an active and decided part in all political events, and yet preserve integrity unimpeached, and talents uncontroverted. He graduated at Harvard College in 1771. While yet a youth,the qualities which made eminent his riper years, rendered him beloved and conspicuous. At this early period of life, he was distinguished for that solidity of judgement, deep penetration, strict moral principle, active virtue, and stable christian piety, which constituted the striking features of his character, and attained for him the notice of his instructors, and the attachment of his equals. He had scarcely reached manhood, when his fellow-townsmen, with a readiness which does honor to their sagacity, elected him their Representative; and by their suffrages and that of his district, he was raised to a seat in the House and Senate of the State for twenty-five years successively, until the public voice elevated him to the high station in which he died. For twenty years, without intermission, he was chosen to the Presidency of the Senate, during periods, in which the public mind underwent many agitations, and experienced much change. His singular, and unremitted attention to business ; his facility in transacting it; and above all, the known independence and integrity of his character, preserved to him, under every aspect of public affairs, a just and honorable popularity. The Academy, which bears his family name, and which is indebted, principally, to his patronage, for is existence and celebrity, witnesses his love of literature, and his ardent exertions in its cause. An enthusiast in his attachment to virtue, a christian in sentiment and the strictest profession, eminent for piety, private friendship, and zeal for the public, what good breast which knew his worth, is not wrung at his loss ; what lover of his country does not lament one of the firmest pillars of the State, and of private worth one of the brightest examples?

👉 The remains of Mr. PHILLIPS will be interred THIS DAY. The funeral procession will move from his late dwelling-house, in Andover, at two o’clock, P. M. which his acquaintance, friends and relations are requested to attend, without further invitation. 




The Secretary delivered the following Message from the Governor :—

Gentlemen of the Senate, and

                             Gentlemen of the House of Representatives,

THE Commonwealth has lost one of its best and ablest friends by the death of the Lieutenant-Governor.  He died yesterday about two in the afternoon, and his family propose that his funeral shall be attended on Monday next at two o’clock.—A long and intimate acquaintance with him, enables some of use to bear testimony to his distinguished merit. He was solicitous to preserve the good order of society, and to exhibit to his fellow-citizens a pattern of every civil and moral virtue.— Without any solicitation on his part, he was many years elected a member of the Senate, and presided in their deliberations with candor and dignity. In the office of Lieutenant-Governor he secured respect by a mild deportment resulting from the testimony of a good conscience. He was firm and in flexible whenever the interests of the Commonwealth were concerned ; and he acquitted himself with honor in all the offices confided to him by the public, and in all the relations of private life.

I shall be ready to join with you, Gentlemen, in any tribute of esteem and respect which you may think due to the merit of his public services.


Box 6 Folder 8
Phillips Family Papers
Phillips Academy Archives & Special Collections

Oliver Wendell Holmes Library || Phillips Academy