Samuel Phillips Jr. (February 5, 1752 – February 10, 1802) was an American merchant, manufacturer, politician, and the founder of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Phillips is considered a pioneer in American education.
Samuel Phillips Jr. was born in Andover, Massachusetts (in a part that is now North Andover). He was a descendant of the Rev. George Phillips of Watertown, the progenitor of the New England Phillips family in America. His grandfather Rev. Samuel Phillips was the first and long-time pastor of the South Church in Andover.
A graduate of Governor Dummer Academy in 1767, and Harvard College in 1771, Phillips was a very active and able member of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress from 1775 to 1780. He served as a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1779 and 1780, and was a state senator from 1780 to 1802, holding the office of President of the Massachusetts Senate from 1785 until his death. For a short period before his death, Phillips also served as the fifth Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. In November 1789 he escorted newly elected President George Washington on his progress through Massachusetts to Concord.
Beginning in 1775, Phillips aided the revolutionary cause by producing gunpowder for Washington's troops at a mill on the Shawsheen River in Andover. Though plagued by difficulties, the powder mill remained active into the 1790s. During this period, Phillips also ran a paper mill in Andover.
In the midst of the Revolution, and with financial backing from his father and his uncle, Dr. John Phillips, Samuel Phillips Jr. founded Phillips Academy in Andover. It opened April 21, 1778. He was a charter member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1780. Like the rest of his family and many Massachusetts patriots, Samuel Phillips Jr. was a strict Calvinist, but he was also a practical visionary concerned about the improvement of society. In the preamble to his constitution for the new school, Phillips wrote: "Youth is the important period, on the improvement or neglect of which depend the most important consequences to individuals and the community." He set out "to lay the foundation of a public free School or Academy for the purpose of instructing Youth, not only in English and Latin Grammar, Writing, Arithmetic, and those Sciences, wherein they are commonly taught; but more especially to learn them the Great End and Real Business of Living." From the first, financial aid scholarships were part of the program of Phillips Academy: "This Seminary shall be ever equally open to Youth, with requisit qualification, from every quarter."
- Allis, Frederick S. Jr., Youth from Every Quarter: A Bicentennial History of Phillips Academy, Andover (University Press of New England, 1978).
- Taylor, John. A Memoir of His Honor Samuel Phillips
- Bond, Henry and Jones, Horatio. Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, Including Waltham and Weston: To which is Appended the Early History of the Town. New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1860, pgs. 872-882
- Taylor, John (1856). A Memoir Of His Honor Samuel Phillips, LL. D. Boston: Congregational Board of Publication. p. 7.
- "Charter of Incorporation of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Cubberley, Ellwood Patterson (1920-01-01). The History of Education: Educational Practice and Progress Considered as a Phase of the Development and Spread of Western Civilization. Houghton Mifflin.
- Paul Monroe, ed. (1913), "Samuel Phillips", Cyclopedia of Education, 4, New York: Macmillan, hdl:2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t1vd73q7n – via HathiTrust