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Phillips

PHILLIPS

PHILLIPS (originally Pheibush ), early American family. The Phillips family was founded in America by jonas phillips (1736–1803), born in Buseck in the Rhineland, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1756 as an indentured servant of Moses *Lindo, a merchant. He became a freeman in 1759, lived in Albany, where he failed in business, and moved to New York where he was a shoḥet. Phillips subsequently engaged in business and was admitted as a freeman in New York City in 1769. A patriot who subscribed to the Non-Importation Resolution, Phillips left New York when it was threatened by the British and enlisted as a private in the Philadelphia militia in 1778. After the war Phillips continued as a merchant in Philadelphia and was elected president of Mikveh Israel Congregation. He took part in signing petitions addressed both to the governments of Pennsylvania and the United States asking civil rights for Jews. Phillips had 21 children, a number of whom died in infancy; a grandson was Mordecai Manuel *Noah.

manuel phillips (d. 1826), son of Jonas, studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and served as assistant surgeon in the War of 1812. He died in Vera Cruz.

naphtali phillips (1773–1870), another son, was born in Philadelphia and became president of Mikveh Israel Congregation at the age of 25. He moved to New York in 1801 where he served Shearith Israel Congregation in a similar capacity for 14 terms. Naphtali Phillips was the first of a group of Jewish newspaper publishers in the United States, owner of New York City's National Advocate. He worked in the Customs House for 30 years. Phillips was the father of 15 children.

zalegman phillips (1779–1839), another son of Jonas, was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Admitted to the bar in 1799, he was the first Jewish lawyer in Pennsylvania.

bibliography:

Rosenbloom, Biogr Dict, s.v.; E. Wolf and M. Whiteman, History of the Jews of Philadelphia (1957), index; H. Simonhoff, Jewish Notables in America (1956) index, especially 49–52 on Jonas and 145–48 on Naphtali Phillips.

[Abram Vossen Goodman]

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