Samuel Field Phillips (1824-1903) was born in Harlem, NY, the second son of Judith Vermeule and James Phillips, professor of mathematics at the University. Samuel entered the University with his brother Charles in 1837, joined the Dialectic Society, and graduated with first honors in 1841. He received an MA degree in 1844, then studied law with Gov. Swain and began his practice in Chapel Hill in 1845. A member of the NC House of Commons (1852-54, 1864, 1865), Phillips became assistant professor of law at the University in 1854, a position he held until 1859. He also served as a University trustee from 1864 to 1868. From 1866 to 1871 he was reporter for the NC supreme court, then he moved to Washington, DC, as US solicitor-general (1873-85). The University awarded him the LLD in 1879. Phillips married Frances Lucas (d. 1883) in 1848, with whom he had eight children; in 1889 he married Sarah Maury (d. 1902)(Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 5:93).