The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Phillips, William Addison

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PHILLIPS, William Addison, American soldier: b. Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, 14 Jan. 1824; d. Fort Gibson, Okla., 30 Nov. 1893. He received an academic education prior to the migration of his father's family to America in 1838. He grew to manhood on a farm in Illinois. At the age of 22 he engaged in newspaper work and later began the study of law. In 1855 he went to Kansas as a special correspondent of the New York Tribune. Although he was offered a large salary to go to the front as a correspondent at the outbreak of the Civil War, he chose rather to enter the volunteer military service. He was commissioned major of the 1st Indian Home Guard regiment in 1862 and was soon promoted to the colonelcy of the 3d Indian Home Guard regiment. He commanded the Indian brigade, with headquarters at Fort Gibson, and for a time commanded a division, though never promoted above the rank of colonel. His position as the ranking Federal military commander in the Indian Territory during most of the time for two years was one which called for the exercise of energy, tact, diplomacy and administrative ability of a high order as well as a large degree of military skill. From 1873 to 1879 he represented the first Kansas district in Congress. Almost radically progressive in his views, he was a careful student of economics and sociology, as evidenced by his work, ‘Labor, Land and Law,’ which was published in 1886. After his retirement from Congress he served for some years as an attorney for the Cherokee Nation. He was buried at Salina, Kan., of which town he was one of the founders.