The Info List - William Phillips (diplomat)

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William Phillips (May 30, 1878 – February 23, 1968) was a career United States
United States
diplomat who served twice as an Under Secretary of State.[1]


1 Early life 2 Career 3 Personal life 4 References 5 External links

Early life[edit] Phillips was born on May 30, 1878 in Beverly, Massachusetts. His parents were John Charles Phillips, Jr. (1838–1885), who married Anna Tucker in London, England on October 23, 1874. His older brother was John Charles Phillips
John Charles Phillips
(1876–1938), a prominent zoologist, ornithologist and environmentalist. His sister, Martha Phillips, was married to Andrew James Peters
Andrew James Peters
(1872–1938), a U.S. Congressman and former Mayor of Boston.[2] Phillips was a member of the Boston Brahmin
Boston Brahmin
Phillips family and his ancestors included John Phillips, the first Mayor of Boston
Mayor of Boston
and his great-grandfather, Wendell Phillips, the abolitionist and his grand-uncle, and Samuel Phillips, Jr., and John Phillips, founders of the Phillips Academy
Phillips Academy
and Phillips Exeter Academy. He was a descendant of the Rev. George Phillips of Watertown, the progenitor of the New England Phillips family in America.[3] [4] He graduated from Harvard College
Harvard College
in 1900 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1903.[1] Career[edit] His first political job was working as a private secretary in London to Joseph Hodges Choate, the United States
United States
Ambassador to the Court of St. James. Choate was a friend of Phillips' family and also from Massachusetts. Phillips subsequently went to work for the United States
United States
Minister to China in Beijing After his return from China, he became a member of President Theodore Roosevelt's Tennis Cabinet and thanks to his previous diplomatic experience and new friendship with TR was assigned to set up the State Department's Division of Far Eastern Affairs and was made its first chief. In 1909, he returned to work in London
for Ambassador Whitelaw Reid.[5] In 1914, he was appointed as Assistant Secretary of State
Assistant Secretary of State
under President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
and remained in that position until 1920, when he was made the Minister Plenipotentiary to Netherlands
and Luxembourg
(in residence in the Netherlands).[1] From 1922 to 1924, he served as Under Secretary of State. In 1924, he was appointed as Ambassador to Belgium, where he remained until 1927, when he became the first Minister to Canada, until 1929.[1] He served as Under Secretary of State
Under Secretary of State
again from 1933 to 1936.[1]

Photograph by Harris & Ewing of American ambassadors after holding a conference with President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
on December 6, 1938. From left to right: William C. Bullitt, Sumner Welles, Hugh R. Wilson, and Phillips.

In 1936, he was appointed as the Ambassador to Italy
(which was then led by Benito Mussolini), in the immediate aftermath of that country's invasion of Ethiopia. He resigned on October 6, 1941. The following year, he was made chief of the United States
United States
Office of Strategic Services in London.[1] In October 1942, Phillips was appointed as a personal representative of Franklin D. Roosevelt, serving in India.[6] (The United States would not have an official Mission there until the country's Independence in 1947.) Phillips was said to be extremely unpopular with the British due to his pro-independence views. In 1943, he was made a Special
Advisor on European political matters to then- General Dwight D. Eisenhower, with the rank of ambassador.[1] Phillips retired officially in 1944 but returned briefly to diplomatic life in 1945 when he was made a special assistant to Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.
Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.
In 1946, he served on the Anglo-American Committee on Palestine, opposing the British plan for partitioning the country. In 1947, he was unsuccessful in mediating a border dispute between Siam
and French Indo-China.[1] In 1953, his memoir, Ventures in Diplomacy, was published by the Beacon Press.[7] Personal life[edit] In 1910, Phillips married Caroline Astor Drayton (1880–1965),[8] the daughter of Charlotte Augusta Astor (1858–1920) and J. Coleman Drayton (1852–1934)[9][10] and a granddaughter of William Backhouse Astor Jr. (1829–1892) and Caroline Webster Schermerhorn (1830–1908).[11] Through her father, she was a great-granddaughter of U.S. Representative William Drayton
William Drayton
(1776–1846).[9] Together, they were the parents of:

Beatrice Schermerhorn Phillips (1914–2003), who married Rear Adm. Elliott Bowman Strauss (1903-2003),[12] in 1951.[13] William Phillips, Jr. (1916–1991), who married Barbara Holbrook (1915–1997), in 1941.[14][15] Drayton Phillips (1917–1985), who married Evelyn Gardiner in 1940.[16][17] Christopher Hallowell Phillips (1920–2008), served as United States Ambassador to Brunei from 1989 to 1991.[3] Anne Caroline Phillips (1922–2016),[18] who married John Winslow Bryant (1914–1999), in 1942.[19][20]

Phillips died on February 23, 1968, at the age of 89.[1] References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h i "William Phillips, Former Ambassador, Dies at 89". New York Times. New York, N.Y.; pg. 27, 1 pgs. February 24, 1968. Retrieved 8 March 2013.  ^ "DR. JOHN PHILLIPS, NOTED NATURALIST; Associate Curator of Peabody Museum at Harvard Dies on Hunting Trip SERVED OVERSEAS IN WAR Became Major in Command of Hospital--Was Brother of Envoy to Italy
Authority on Bird Life". The New York Times. 15 November 1938. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ a b Negri, Gloria (February 11, 2008). "Christopher H. Phillips, 87, state senator, ambassador". The Boston Globe.  ^ 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 ^ Times, Special
To The New York (18 September 1912). "PHILLIPS TO QUIT EMBASSY.; London
Secretary Will Abandon Diplomacy for a Business Career". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ Phillips to India, Time Magazine, 1942-12-21. ^ Rogers, Lindsay (18 October 1953). "Diplomatic Yesterdays; VENTURES IN DIPLOMACY. By William Phillips. 477 pp. Boston: The Beacon Press. $5.50". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ "MRS. WILLIAM PHILLIPS". The New York Times. 9 January 1965. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ a b Times, Special
to The New York (12 November 1934). "J. C. DRAYTON DEAD; RETIRED BANKER, 82; Newport Resident for Several Years Was Son-in-Law of the Late William Astor. AN EXPERT PIGEON SHOT kJ Issued Challenge to Hallett A. Borrowe to Duel, Which Never Took Place." The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ Times, Special
To The New York (16 November 1934). "J. C. DRAYTON WILL FILED.; His Daughter, Mrs. William Phillips, Is Made Chief Beneficiary." The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ "MISS DRAYTON WEDS WILLIAM PHILLIPS; Only Daughter of J. Coleman Drayton Married to Secretary of American Embassy. WEDDED IN QUAINT CHURCH Nuptials Were to Have Been Held in New York City, but Ambassador Reid's Absence Changed Plans". The New York Times. 3 February 1910. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ "Rear Adm. Elliott Bowman Strauss, 100, Dies". The Washington Post. 24 August 2003. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ Times, Special
To The New York (1 February 1951). "BEATRICE PHILLIPS TO BE WED FEB. 12; Daughter of Former Envoy the Fiancee of Capt. Elliott B. Strauss
Elliott B. Strauss
of the Navy". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ Times, Special
To The New York (31 August 1941). "Miss Holbrook Engaged to Wed Son of Diplomat
; She Will Be Bride of William Phillips Jr., Whose Father Is Ambassador to Italy". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ Times, Special
To The New York (26 October 1941). "BARBARA HOLBKOOK MARRIED IN CHURCH; Wed to William Phillips Jr. in a Ceremony Performed at Naugatuck, Conn". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ Times, Special
To The New York (11 September 1940). "EVELYN GARDINER PROSPECTIVE BRIDE; Engagement of Boston Girl to Drayton Phillips, Son of U.S. Envoy, Announced MEMBER OF VINCENT CLUB Her Fiance, a Great-Grandson of William Astors, Studied at Universities in Europe". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ Times, Special
To The New York (1 December 1940). "EVELYN GARDINER BECOMES A BRIDE; Boston Girl Married in Church Ceremony at Chestnut Hill to Drayton Phillips ATTENDED BY HER SISTER Bridegroom Is Son of Envoy to Italy--Great Grandson of Late William Astors". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ "Anne Phillips Bryant". Clarion Ledger. Clarion Ledger. February 17, 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ Times, Special
To The New York (30 May 1942). "MISS ANNE C. PHILLIPS IS ENGAGED TO MARRY; Daughter of Ex-Ambassador fo Be Wed to Lt. John W. Bryant". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017.  ^ Times, Special
To The Nrw Tobk (16 June 1942). "MISS ANNE PHILLIPS BECOMES A BRIDE; Daughter of Ex-Ambassador to Italy
Wed in Hamilton, Mass., to Lieut. John W. Bryant SISTER THE MAID OF HONOR Four Other Attendants Serve ouReception Is Held at Home of the Bride's Parents". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2017. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Phillips (diplomat).

"William Phillips (1878-1968)". State Department. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 

Government offices

Preceded by Huntington Wilson Third Assistant Secretary of State January 11, 1909 – October 13, 1909 Succeeded by Chandler Hale

Preceded by Dudley Field Malone Third Assistant Secretary of State March 17, 1914 – January 24, 1917 Succeeded by Breckinridge Long

Preceded by John E. Osborne United States
United States
Assistant Secretary of State 1917 – 1920 Succeeded by Fred Morris Dearing

Preceded by Henry P. Fletcher Under Secretary of State 1922 – 1924 Succeeded by Joseph C. Grew

Preceded by William R. Castle, Jr. Under Secretary of State 1933 – 1936 Succeeded by Sumner Welles

Diplomatic posts

Preceded by John W. Garrett United States
United States
ambassador to Luxembourg 1920 – 1922 Succeeded by Richard M. Tobin

Preceded by John W. Garrett U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands 1920 – 1922 Succeeded by Richard M. Tobin

Preceded by Henry P. Fletcher United States
United States
ambassador to Belgium 1924 – 1927 Succeeded by Hugh S. Gibson

Preceded by None United States
United States
ambassador to Canada 1927 – 1929 Succeeded by Hanford MacNider

Preceded by Breckinridge Long United States
United States
ambassador to Italy 1936 – 1941 Succeeded by George Wadsworth Chargé d'Affaires ad interim

v t e

United States
United States
Under Secretaries of State

Frank Polk Norman Davis Henry P. Fletcher William Phillips Joseph Grew Robert E. Olds J. Reuben Clark Joseph P. Cotton William R. Castle Jr. William Phillips Sumner Welles Edward Stettinius Jr. Joseph Grew Dean Acheson Robert A. Lovett James E. Webb David K. E. Bruce Walter Bedell Smith Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Jr. Christian Herter C. Douglas Dillon Chester Bowles George Ball Nicholas Katzenbach Elliot Richardson John N. Irwin II

v t e

United States
United States
Ambassadors to Canada

Phillips (1927–29) MacNider (1930–32) Robbins (1933–35) Armour (1935–39) Roper (1939) Cromwell (1940) Moffat (1940–43) Atherton (1943–48) Steinhardt (1949–50) Woodward (1950–53) Stuart (1953–56) Merchant (1956–58) Wigglesworth (1959–60) Merchant (1961–62) Butterworth (1962–68) Linder (1968–69) Schmidt (1969–74) Porter (1974–75) Enders (1976–79) Curtis (1979–81) Robinson (1981–85) Niles (1985–89) Ney (1989–92) Teeley (1992–93) Blanchard (1993–96) Giffin (1997–2001) Cellucci (2001–05) Wilkins (2005–09) Jacobson (2009–13) Heyman (2014–2017) Craft (2017–present)

Category Commons

v t e

United States
United States
Ambassadors to Belgium

Chargé d'affaires

Legaré Maxcy Hilliard Clemson Bayard Seibels

Minister Resident

Seibels Fair Sanford Jones Merrill Goodloe Putnam Fish Tree

Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary

Tree Parkhurst Terrell Ewing Storer Townsend Wilson Bryan Anderson Marburg Whitlock


Whitlock Fletcher Phillips Gibson Morris Gibson Davies Cudahy Biddle Sawyer Kirk Murphy Cowen Alger Folger Burden MacArthur Knight Eisenhower Strausz-Hupé Firestone Chambers Price Swaebe Glitman Gelb Blinken Cejas Brauer Korologos Fox Bush Gutman Bauer

v t e

United States
United States
Ambassadors to Italy

Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

Chargé d'affaires

Nelson Throop Boulware Polk Rowan Morris

Minister Resident

Owen Chandler

Kingdom of Sardinia

Chargé d'affaires

Rogers Baber Wickliffe Niles Kinney Daniel

Minister Resident


Kingdom of Italy

Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary

Marsh Astor Stallo Porter Potter

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

MacVeagh Draper Meyer White Griscom Leishman O'Brien Page Johnson Child Fletcher Garrett Long W. Phillips Wadsworth (chargé d'affaires) Kirk

Italian Republic

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Dunn Bunker Luce Zellerbach Reinhardt Ackley Martin Volpe Gardner Rabb Secchia Bartholomew Foglietta Sembler Spogli Thorne J. Phillips Eisenberg

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 56829249 LCCN: n97066161 ISNI: 0000 0000 3628 5758 SUDOC: 168650703 BNF: cb144374104 (da