Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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PHIN, John, publisher, born in Melrose, Scotland, 9 September, d832. He was educated in Edinburgh as civil engineer, and in 1851 came to the United States. In 1864 he was called to the chair of chemistry in the People's college at Havana, New York, and in 1866 was professor of agriculture in Pennsylvania agricultural college. Subsequently he came to New York, where he has edited and published various technical journals, such as the "Manufacturer and Builder," "Technologist," "American Journal of Microscopy," and "The Young Scientist." He has published "Open Air Grape Culture" (New York, 1862) ; "Chemical History of the Creation" (1872) ; "Practical Treatise on Lightning-Rods" (1872) ; and " How to Use the Microscope" (1875), of which six editions have been called for.
--BEGIN-Sire William Phips
PHIPS, or PHIPPS, Sir William, governor of Massachusetts, born in Pemmaquid, now Bristol, Maine, 2 February, 1651; died in London, England, 18 February, 1695. He was the son of a gunsmith in humble circumstances, and was one of a family of twenty-six children, of whom twenty-one were boys. At first he was a shepherd, but when he reached the age of eighteen he bound himself to a ship-carpenter, and on the expiration of his time went to Boston, where he learned to read and write. He then built himself a vessel and engaged in commerce, also seeking f or treasures that had been lost in wrecked vessels. In 1864 he went to England to procure means to recover valuables from a wrecked Spanish ship near the Bahamas. The first search, in a vessel that was furnished by the government, proved unsuccessful, but in 1687 a second attempt was made under the patronage of the Duke of Albemarle, when he recovered bullion, coin, and plate that amounted to £300,000 sterling. Such was his honesty, and so liberal was he to the seamen, that his own share amounted only to £16,000. His success gained for him the honor of knighthood, and James II. appointed him sheriff of New England ; but he found it impossible to discharge the duties of his office while Sir Edmund Andros was governor. In 1690 he commanded an expedition against Port Royal, which he captured, and later in the same year, when the English colonists formed the intention of capturing Canada from the French, he had command of the naval forces, consisting of thirty-four vessels manned by 1,500 sailors, and carrying 1,300 militia under the command of Major John Walley. These forces appeared before Quebec on 5 October, 1790, and demanded the surrender of that city, in the name of King William III., from the Count de Frontenac, then governor of Canada. The latter replied : "I do not acknowledge King William, and 1 well know that the Prince of Orange is an usurper, who has violated the most sacred rights of blood and religion. I will answer your master by the mouth of my cannon." After a siege of several days the fire from the French batteries proved so injurious to the English fleet that the enterprise was abandoned. Subsequently nine of Phips's vessels were wrecked during a storm, and he returned to Boston, considerably distressed at his defeat. He then visited England for the purpose of inducing the government to send another expedition to Canada, and while there, through the influence of Increase Mather, agent of the colony in England, he was appointed in 1692 captain-general and governor-in-chief of Massachusetts. In 1690 he had professed repentance for his sins, and was admitted to membership in the North church, of which Cotton Mather was pastor. He arrived in Boston on 14 May, 1692, and soon put a stop to the prosecutions for witchcraft by organizing a special court of oyer and terminer, or commission of seven magistrates, for the consideration of their cases. In August, 1692, he sailed with about 450 men to Pemmaquid, where he built a fort. In 1694, in a dispute with the collector of the port, an official from England, he was so carried away by the passion of the moment as to have recourse to blows to settle the controversy. He also came into difficulty with the captain of an English war vessel, whose head he is said to have broken with his cane. In 1694 he was summoned to England to answer complaints that had been brought against him. He received assurances of his restoration to his place, but died suddenly of malignant fever. He was regarded as a man of uncommon enterprise and industry, of an excellent disposition, and of perfect honesty and integrity. See "Life of Sir William Phips," by Francis Bowen, in Sparks's "American Biography" (Boston, 1834-'7).--His nephew, Spencer, born in Rowley, Massachusetts, 6 June, 1685; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 4 April, 1757, was the son of Dr. David Bennet, of Rowley, and, on being adopted by Sir William Phips, took by statute the latter name. He was graduated at Harvard in 1703, and became a councillor in 1722. From 1731 till 1757 he was lieutenant-governor, administering the government in 1749-'53, and again in 1756-'70.
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