The Honorable Jonathan Phillips
Born to founder William Phillips on April 24, 1778, Jonathan Phillips graduated from Harvard college in 1818, worked in the dry-goods and hardware business, and served as a state senator. He married the daughter of founder Samuel Salisbury.
He was known for both his intelligence and his wealth, which he shared generously in imitation of his father. He was the largest benefactor in Boston of an expedition to the arctic, gave $10,000 dollars to build a music hall and another $10,000 to the Boston Public Library.
Known for his steady demeanor, he was chosen to chair a particularly heated debate on December 8, 1837 at Faneuil Hall dealing with the murder of abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy, at which his good friend William Ellery Channing and his cousin Wendell Phillips also spoke.
He was part of a gathering of intellectuals called “The Friends,” and was a trustee of Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Jonathan Phillips died on July 29, 1860.
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