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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

James Phillips (1792-1867)

University presidents Joseph Caldwell and David Swain owned slaves. Even faculty from outside the South like Englishman James Phillips and Connecticut native Elisha Mitchell purchased slaves after moving to Chapel Hill. Rev. Phillips conducted religious services for slaves on Sunday afternoons and helped build a shed for slave worship behind the Presbyterian church. In 1919, the university named its new mathematics building in honor of James Phillips and two of his relatives.