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Phillips family papers. Margaret (Duncan) Phillips (1847-1926) papers


The Margaret (Duncan) Phillips (1847-1926) papers (MS048) reflect the personal and social life of Margaret (Duncan) Phillips of Salem, Massachusetts. Included in the collection are papers relating to her hobbies and pastimes; social engagements; committee and volunteer work; financial management of household activities; travels; and other interests and activities. The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence. The collection is arranged in eight series.


In 1996, the Stephen Phillips Memorial Charitable Trust for Historic Preservation acquired the Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust for Historic Preservation House (now the Phillips House), in Salem, Massachusetts, from Bessie "Betty" Gertrude (Wright) Phillips (1906-1996), wife of Stephen "Stevie" Phillips (1907-1971). In 2006, Historic New England acquired the Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust for Historic Preservation House (now the Phillips House) at 34 Chestnut Street in Salem, Massachusetts, from the Stephen Phillips Memorial Charitable Trust for Historic Preservation. The papers contained within the house at the time of Historic New England's acquisition formed the bases of the collection: Phillips family papers (now MS051). Portions of the Phillips family papers (MS051) had been divided into smaller collections and partially processed and/or inventoried by the staff of the Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust for Historic Preservation House (now the Phillips House): Phillips Family Papers, 1770-1909: Guide to the Collection (now MS051); Anna P. Phillips Collection (now MS043); Stephen Phillips Collection (now MS044); Inventory of Stephen Willard Phillips Papers: Unprocessed Collection (now MS046); and Duncan Family Papers: Finding Aid (now MS047 and MS048).

Update: 2013-2014

In 2013-2014, through a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant (project #RH-50051: Family Manuscript Collections: Expanding Online Access to New England Heritage Project), twenty-six Historic New England manuscript collections of family papers were re-evaluated and processed/reprocessed to meet current archival standards and "best practices;" corresponding finding aids were created/updated to be DACS-compliant and converted into electronic Microsoft Word document form; and the finding aids were made accessible/searchable online through the use of the Minisis M2A archival database of the Minisis Collections Management System. The Margaret (Duncan) Phillips (1847-1926) papers (MS048) were part of the grant project.

The contents of the cartons were unprocessed and contained no original order. During the 2013-2014 collection processing, materials were sorted according to record types and/or topic; a rudimentary arrangement scheme was applied to the collection; folder titles were created; and the collection was housed in legal-size, acid-free folders and cartons. Most of the papers throughout the collection were removed from envelopes (if applicable), unfolded, and flattened; most oversize material was rehoused appropriately (or interleafed within file boxes, as applicable); and a few fragile and vulnerable items were placed in enclosures or interleafed within folders, as appropriate. Folders and boxes were numbered, labeled, barcoded, and stored accordingly. Scope and content notes were created; brief research was engaged to create a biographical/ historical sketch; and related collections held by Historic New England and other repositories were researched and noted. A DACS-compliant, electronic 2010-2013 Microsoft Word document finding aid was created (with corresponding paper finding aid) and entered into the collection record in the Minisis M2A online database.

NOTE: Processing/updating the collection and making the finding aid accessible online were made possible through grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13), the Bedford Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.


Collection Name
Phillips family papers. Margaret (Duncan) Phillips (1847-1926) papers
Collection Code
1792-1972, undated
Address books; calendars; calling/visiting cards; club and committee records; correspondence; diaries; ephemera; estate records; financial records; journals; legal documents; lists; notebooks and notes; passports; photographs; printed material; scrapbooks; speeches; stamps; travel material; etc.; reflecting the personal interests and social activities of Margaret (Duncan) Phillips of Salem, Massachusetts.
Date of Acquisition
Physical Description
11.42 linear ft. (1 file box, 11 cartons, plus 2 oversize folders)
Finding Aid Info
An electronic finding aid is available through Historic New England's Collections Access Portal. A paper finding aid is available in the Library and Archives.

Collection Type
Description Level
Custodial History
·2006: Acquisition of the Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust for Historic Preservation House (now the Phillips House), in Salem, Massachusetts, and all of its contents to Historic New England from the Stephen Phillips Memorial Charitable Trust for Historic Preservation

Credit Line
Acquired from the Stephen Phillips Memorial Charitable Trust for Historic Preservation, 2006
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

Margaret (Duncan) Phillips was born on December 30, 1847, in Haverhill, Massachusetts, to James Henry and Mary Willis Duncan. Her father practiced law and served as state senator (1828-1831) and in Congress (1848-1852). She graduated from the Abbot Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1868. Margaret Duncan met Stephen Henry Phillips (1823-1897) in Hawaii while she was on the island with a Baptist mission and he was serving as Attorney General for the Kingdom of Hawaii. The couple married in 1871, moved to Hawaii, and lived in San Francisco between 1873 and 1881, when they returned to Massachusetts. Margaret and Stephen Henry Phillips had two sons, Stephen Willard Phillips (1873-1955) and James Duncan Phillips (1876-1954). Margaret Duncan Phillips died in Salem in 1926.

Abbot Academy Alumnae Association, The Abbot Bulletin, Andover, Massachusetts, October 1923 George Wingate Chase, History of Haverhill, Massachusetts (Haverhill, 1861) Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 (


The collection is arranged in eight series: Series I. Activities, hobbies, and pastimes. Series II. Cards, invitations, postcards, and related. Series III. Clubs and organizations. Series IV. Correspondence. Series V. Financial records. Series VI. Legal documents. Series VII. Other papers. Series VIII. Printed material.

*Collection housing/storage code: #x.x=file box (i.e., #1.2= file box 1, folder 2); C=carton; FB=folio box; FF=fragile files; MB=multi-purpose box; OB=oversize box/folder; OV=oversize volume; VF=vertical files/flat files

Record details

Phillips, Margaret Duncan
Other People
Duncan, George W., 1845-1884
Duncan, James Henry, 1793-1869
Harris, Mary Duncan
Phillips, James Duncan, 1876-1954
Phillips, Margaret Duncan
Phillips, Stephen H. (Stephen Henry), 1823-1897
Phillips, Stephen Willard, 1873-1955
Willis, Benjamin, 1791-1870
Other Organizations
Abbot Academy
American Baptist Publication Society
American Women's Club
Brown University
Essex Institute
First Baptist Church (Salem, Mass.)
Haverhill Children's Aid Society (Mass.)
Haverhill Historical Society (Haverhill, Mass.)
Haverhill Monday Evening Club (Mass.)
Massachusetts Audubon Society
Mayflower Club
Naumkeag Bank (Salem, Mass.)
New England Trust Company (Salem, Mass.)
Patterson, Wylde and Windeler, Incorporated
Peabody Essex Museum
Phillips Academy
Royal Exchange Assurance (Firm)
Salem Baptist Association (Mass.)
Salem Public Library
Salem War Chest Association (Salem, Mass.)
Standard Oil Company
Wheeler and Northend Architects (Lynn, Mass.)
Woman's American Baptist Foreign Mission Society
Woman's Baptist Social Union
Women's Missionary Society
Women's Rest Tour Association (Boston, Mass.)
Descriptive Terms
clippings (information artifacts)
clubs (associations)
estate records
financial records
ledgers (account books)
legal documents
Material Type
personal papers
Andover (Essex county, Massachusetts)
Haverhill (Essex county, Massachusetts)
Hawaii (United States)
Lynn (Essex county, Massachusetts)
Middle East [general region]
New England (United States) [general region]
Providence (Providence county, Rhode Island)
Salem (Essex county, Massachusetts)
Places (Buildings)
Stephen Phillips House (Salem, Mass.)
·This collection is available for research. Arrangements to access the collection must be made in advance.
·Note: due to aging materials and condition of the materials, the whole of the collection requires handling with care.

Location Note
HAV-01-701-C-G-203; HAV-01-701-C-G-202; HAV-01-701-C-G-201; HAV-01-701-C-F-101; HAV-01-701-C-L-102
Related Items
Phillips family papers. Anna Pingree (Wheatland) Phillips (1870-1938) papers
Phillips family papers. Stephen "Stevie" Phillips (1907-1971) papers
Phillips family papers. Stephen Henry Phillips (1823-1897) papers
Phillips family papers. Stephen Willard Phillips (1873-1955) papers
Phillips family papers. James Duncan Phillips (1876-1954) papers
Phillips family papers. Nannie Jencks (Borden) Phillips (1877-1963) papers
Phillips family papers. Stephen Clarendon Phillips (1801-1857) papers
Phillips family papers. Papers of other Phillips family members
Phillips family film collection, 1925-mid-1940s
Accruals Note
Accruals are not expected.
Language Note
Materials in English; some in French
Preferred Citation
[Item identification.] Phillips family papers. Margaret (Duncan) Phillips (1847-1926) papers (MS048). Historic New England, Library and Archives.

Processing Information
·2014 June: Originally processed by Alyssa Ramirez, archives assistant; with assistance from Bridgette A. Woodall, project archivist; and Jennifer Pustz, museum historian

Rules and Conventions
Finding aid is DACS-compliant

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