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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Charles Phillips (1822-1889) and Samuel Field Phillips (1824-1903)

As Reconstruction continued, the family of former mathematics professor James Phillips emerged as key players in state and university politics. Charles, the eldest son, lost his faculty position in the Republican shakeup and found a new one at Davidson College. The second son, Samuel, was a prominent lawyer and legislator. Unlike the rest of the family, Samuel Phillips embraced the new order and became a Republican. He later served as U.S. Solicitor General from 1873 to 1885 and helped challenge segregation in the 1896 Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson.