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Phillips Family papers

Identifier: P-17

Scope and Content Note

The Phillips Family Collection contains papers pertaining to several members of the Phillips family, including Aaron Phillips, Joseph Phillips, Joshua Phillips, Moses Phillips, Naphtali Phillips, Phillip A. Phillips, and Rebecca Phillips. The core of the collection is the papers of Captain N. Taylor Phillips and Rosalie Solomons Phillips, and the as well as on Masonic materials.


  • Creation: undated, 1752, 1758-1955


Language of Materials

The collection is in English, Yiddish, and Hebrew.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at

For reference questions, please email:

Biographical Note

Phillips Family Papers

This biographical sketch discusses various members of the Phillips family represented in the collection.

Naphtali Phillips (1773-1870) was the editor of the National Advocate New York Daily Newspaper during the early 1800's. Phillips's Bedikah book and his prayerbook, both dating to the late 1700's, are included in the collection.

Jonas Phillips (1736-1803) fought in the American Revolutionary War. Born in Germany, he was one of the first Jewish individuals to settle in the U.S. The collection includes Phillips's prayerbook, dated to the mid-1700's, as well as a soldier's pay note. Though he was active in synagogue life, Phillips became a Master Mason in the Masonic order in 1760. Some of the documents pertaining to Phillips are printed in Hebrew.

Isaac Phillips (1812-1889) was appraiser of merchandise for the Port of New York City and a member of the Albion Lodge No. 26 of Free & Associated Masons. The collection contains several financial and personal correspondences of Phillips's, including most notably letters from Henry Clay and J.Q. Adams, both dated to 1828.

Rosalie Solomons Phillips (1867-1946) was extremely active in politics, education, and in charitable works, particularly those regarding the Jewish community. She was closely involved with the New York State Democratic Party, and was especially committed to working with other women politicians, including Eleanor Roosevelt. Phillips held positions on several committees and clubs such as the Women's Committee to Promote Pay Increase for New York City Police and Firemen, the Amsterdam Democratic Club, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Women, Columbia Religious and Industrial School for Jewish Girls, and the Sisterhood of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogues. Her commitments ranged from social to political to religious. The collection includes many personal and political correspondences, including formal and informal letters, as well as event invitations. Items of interest include an exchange between RSP and the office of the President of the borough of Brooklyn regarding RSP's concern for the "lack of bathing privileges for Colored people at Coney Island" (Aug. 11, 1923) in which the City maintains that no discrimination is practiced, as well as a speech written by RSP on the importance of prayer on the Sabbath. She was married to N. Taylor Phillips.

N(aphtali). Taylor Phillips (1868-) often referred to as Captain Phillips, as he held a position in the Quartermaster Corps, was a lawyer by training. Phillips was involved in politics and was in good standing among many of the more important political players of his time, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Aside from his successful careers in the military and in law, much of Phillips' private and public energies were devoted to the preservation of American Jewish history and to the education of future generations in that history. While he was an active member of the order of Free and Associated Masons in New York, Phillips kept both handwritten and typed notes, as well as newspaper clippings, on details of American Jewish history, including institutions, movements, and genealogies. Phillips was involved in the Federation of American Zionists and in the Palestinian Charities, among other organizations. He was a member of Congregation Shearith Israel and kept notes on the status of synagogues from around the country. He was married to Rosalie Solomons Phillips.


4.5 Linear Feet (9 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized folder)


This Collection contains personal papers, correspondence, and other material relating to the Phillips family, 1733-1954. The majority of the materials are in regard to the following family members: Jonas Phillips (1733-1802), Naphtali Phillips (1815-1868), Joseph Phillips (1811), Rebecca Hart Phillips (1812), Joshua Phillips (1852-1858), Isaac Phillips (1830-1884), Roslie Solomons Phillips (1872-1945), Naphtali Taylor Phillips (1895-1954).

Notable objects in this collection include Jonas Phillips' copy of a book on the laws and practice of shehita, printed in Wandsbeck, Germany, in 1733; Naphtali Phillips' letters regarding Congregation Shearith Israel; Isaac Phillips' correspondence relating to his position as Appraiser of Merchandise for the Port of New York; Roslie Solomons Phillips' letters from Eleanor Roosevelt; and Naphtali Taylor Phillips' correspondence relating to Congregation Shearith Israel, the Touro Synagogue, the Federation of American Zionists, the National Conference of Jewish Charities (Committee on Palestinian Charities), and Adolphus S. Solomons. Collection also contains published Masonic materials, political memorabilia, and a letter from George Mifflin Dallas to an unidentified member of the Phillips family, 1856.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the estate of N. Taylor Phillips in 1956.

Guide to the Papers of Phillips Family, undated, 1752, 1758-1955   *P-17
Reprocessed by Sarah Stetson
© 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • March, June 2020: EHyman: post-ASpace migration cleanup

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

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New York NY 10011 United States