Thanks to Cousin Ina for finding him

Known as "The Singing Pilgrim"

Born: August 13, 1834, Chautauqua County, New York.
Died: June 25, 1895, Delaware, Ohio.
Buried: Forest Hill Cemetery, Fredonia, New York.

Known as “The Singing Pilgrim,” Phillips began teaching singing school at age 19. In 1860, he formed a partnership in Cincinnati, Ohio, with Wm. Sumner & Co., under the firm name of Phillip Phillips & Co., to sell pianos, organs, and Sunday school songbooks. Phillips frequently introduced himself in a town by putting a melodeon in a vehicle, parking on a prominent street corner, and begin to sing and play. His marvelous voice drew large crowds.

In 1875, Phillips went on a tour of Australia, conducting over one hundred song services. He returned to New York two years later, by way of Sri Lanka, India, Japan, Jerusalem, Egypt, Italy, Europe, and England. He wrote Round the World with Descriptive Songs about the experience.

Phillips’ other books include:
· Early Blossoms
· Musical Leaves
· Singing Pilgrim
· Song Life
· Song Sermons
· New Hymn and Tune Book
· Hallowed Songs
· American Sacred Songster (sold over a million copies)
· Home Songs
· Temperance Songs
· Standard Gems
· Colonial Singer
· International Song Service
· Our New Hymnal

Some samples of his works:

Blind Bartimeus

I Will Sing You a Song

Oh, What are you Going to Do?

Source: for the above "THE CYBER HYMNAL"

See some pictures of interest>


Philip Phillips the son of Sawyer Phillips and Betsy Jane Parker.  Sawyer Phillips was born in Ashfield MA, May 16, 1791 and emigrated to Stockton, in 1816 accompanied by his father, Philip PHILLIPS and his mother, Elizabeth SMITH; also 2 sisters, and a younger brother Israel, who died unmarried about 1835 in Stockton. Stockton was formed from Chautauqua, Feb 9, 1821; named in honor of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. In 1850 one tier and a half of lots were annexed from Ellery in 1850. It also includes one tier of lots taken from township 4, range 13. Original Purchases in Township 4, Range 12, 1816; Sawyer Phillips was assigned lot 15.

Philip Phillips ancestors, Nicholas Phillips and wife Elizabeth Jewson, came to these shores in about 1630 and settled in Contentment now known as Dedham Massachusetts.  Nicholas soon moved to Wessagusett now known as Weymouth Massachusetts where he became a Deacon and where he died.  Deacon Nichlas Phillips son Richard Phillips married Mary Packard; Richard was the first man of this settlement to reach the rank of Ensign.  Richards son John Phillips came to Easton from Weymouth about 1694 with William Manley, they dividing one share of land (the fifty-second lot) between them.  He married about 1690 in Weymouth, Elizabeth Drake.  John Phillips was the first man in Easton to reach the rank of Captain.  He participated in the "Expedition to Canada" and received for his efforts lands in the western part of Massachusetts in the settlement of Huntstown.

Captain John Phillips son Thomas, born in Easton,  took advantage of the new land in Huntstown and moved there about 1740.  He was the second settler in this wilderness area although records show that he was more than likely the first to settle here.  Thomas Phillips son, Philip Phillips Sr. was born in Huntstown now known as Ashfield Massachusetts.  He, Philip, married his second cousin Mercy Phillips and had a large family.  Philip became prominent in Ashfield and also held the rank of Captain.  He was a judge and was know as Squire Phillips.  His son, Philip Phillips Jr. married Elizabeth Smith in Ashfield.  In 1816, Philip and Elizabeth moved from Ashfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts to Cassadaga, Chautauqua County, New York.

Philip Phillips Jr. son Sawyer Phillips was born in Ashfield Massachusetts where he married Betsy Jane Parker probably in Stockton, Chautauqua County, New York.  Thier son Philip Phillips, which this biography is about, was born in Chautauqua County, New York in 1834 and married Olive Clark born 1839 in Marion County, Ohio.

In 1852 there is an article regarding Philip: On the misfortunes and death of several respectable youths , who perished by drowning in the Cassadaga Lake, on the 3rd of September, 1852, while attempting to cross to participate in a Pic Nic party.

The following named were drowned.
Miss Lucy Lazell, aged 23, Miss Celia Lazell, aged 18, Miss Alice J. Wilkins, aged 17, Miss Augusta Harrison, aged 14, All of Stockton, NY [ In Chautauqua Co, neighboring Cassadaga], Miss Charlotte Moore, aged 18, Miss Elizabeth Goodrich, aged 26 of Ithaca NY, Miss Philena Sadler aged 17 of Randolph NY And Mr. Jarvis Wilcox, aged 55, the pilot of the larger boat.

Those saved.
Miss Martha Wilkins, Ellen Goodrich, Myra Grant, Louise Ely, Mary Sturgess, All of Stockton, Messrs. J.W. Warren, Delevan G Morgan, Flavius Ely, Mortimer Ely, Hiram D. Hart, Henry Grant, Philip Phillips, and William Shepard., George E.Harrison, Henry Goodrich, and Misses Louisa Bump, and Phebe Hoag, and the pilot, W.Wilcox.

Philip Phillips was a noted singer and composer of sacred songs, he made singing tours in England, and the British possessions under the auspices of the London Sunday School Union, and tours in Australia and Van Diemans land (1875)

Philip Phillips, "The Singing Pilgrim," was one of the more shadowy figures in the larger world of gospel hymnody. Of international reputation in his day as a gospel singer, he literally circled the globe performing nearly four thousand times. His song collections were not only highly successful but also exerted a powerful influence on persons such as Ira Sankey. Although his work is little known today, he played a significant role in nineteenth-century Methodist life. He edited the Methodist tune book, and his songs, collections, and ministry reflected strong Holiness sympathies.

His residence in Fredonia was called "Ft. Hill Villa" while here in 1884 he lost his eldest son, James Clark PHILLIPS, who also carried his fathers musical talents, he lies buried at Forest Hill cemetery in Freedonia, On his head stone, his last words, "Tell everybody, I die a Christian" His youngest son, Philip Phillips Jr the 4th to carry this name to live in Chautauqua Co, entered the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in the spring of 1891 married to Mary SEMANS the only daughter of Proffessor W.O. SEMANS of the faculty of his alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan University.

This name, PHILIP PHILLIPS, is almost proverbial among the great, honored names of Americans, and the surname is distinguished in its attachment to educational, legal and cultural objectives and personages.

Letter to President Lincoln

"Your Mission"

The song was sung at the annual Christian Commission meeting in Washington, in January 1865. Some ways into the several hour program, Your Mission was sung by a talented singer named Philip Phillips, who was known as 'The Singing Pilgrim.' The song is quite moving, and in the audience sat President Lincoln, listening intently, with tears rolling down his face. He pulled out a pencil and wrote on the back of his program:

"Near the close let us have "Your Mission" repeated by Mr Philips-

Don't say I called for it


The president had the program forwarded to Mr. Stuart, the chairman of the Christian Commission. He showed the request to Mr. Phillips, who was happy to oblidge the request. But he was not happy that Mr. Stuart slipped the program into his own pocket. Phillips later wrote to the president and requested that he write a copy of the request on another program.

This Lincoln did, and today, one of these programs is in the collection of the Sibley Library at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester.

Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Transcribed and Annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois.

From Philip Phillips to Abraham Lincoln1, January 30, 1865

[Note 1 Phillips was a singer and proprietor of a Cincinnati, Ohio firm that published hymn books. Known as the "singing pilgrim," Phillips gave several thousand song-services throughout the world. During the Civil War, Phillips toured the North on behalf of the U. S. Christian Commission.]

Philadelphia, Jan 30th 1865

My Dear Sir

I learn through Mr Geo H Stuart [2] (President of our Christian Commission) that you made the request to him in writing for me to repeat my little song -- "Your Mission" at our Aniversary last Sunday night. [3]

[Note 2 George H. Stuart was a Philadelphia merchant and philanthropist who served as president of the U. S. Christian Commission during the Civil War.]

[Note 3 Stuart had written to Lincoln on January 24 and invited him to attend the celebration commemorating the third anniversary of the U. S. Christian Commission that was to take place in the Hall of the U. S. House of Representatives on January 29. Lincoln accepted the invitation and while in attendance he requested Stuart to have Philips close the festivities with an encore performance of the song "Your Mission." See Stuart to Lincoln, January 24, 1865 and Collected Works, VIII, 245.]

The honor created in me a strong desire to have the request in writing as you gave it to him. But Mr S wanted it himself, and said I could apply to you for another and you to send it to me by mail.

This little favor in your own hand writing I should appreciate nearly as highly as having the honor of singing many songs -- togeather with Two (2) hearty votes for you during the last five years. [4]

[Note 4 No reply from Lincoln has been located.]

Very truly yours

Philip Phillips

Address Cincinnati Ohio

I will send to you my last little Singing Book for your little Boy containing the Song "Your Mission

See image of letter below


This modern "psalmist of Israel," who still considers Marion his home, enjoys a national reputation as a musician, and is even known in the Old World, where he has spent some time. He was born August 13, 1834, in a plain farmhouse at the foot of a wooded hill in Chautauqua County, N. Y., a section of country famous for literature, science and song. Here, at the above date, says leis biographer, "Philip began his song in a minor key, for be was a minor of minors himself. This first song was, perhaps, nothing new or strange in the Phillips household, for this noisy youngster was the seventh in the squalling scale! The six other children, as they came in their regular order of about one year and a half apart, no doubt had introduced themselves in the same key. Philip's lungs, however, proved to be as elastic in this first exercise as those of his stoutest baby predecessor; and why not? He was the prophet of his own career."

From: The History of Marion County, Ohio

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