Sophia (Chew) Philips (1769-1841)

Mrs Sophia (Chew) Philips

Associated Houses



She grew up between her parents' townhouse at 110 South Third Street in Philadelphia and their summer home, Cliveden. As a girl, she and her sister, Harriet, had been favorites of George Washington and when she grew up she became one of Philadelphia's most sought-after heiresses. In 1796, she married Henry Philips who had recently arrived from England to further the export opportunities of his family's cotton manufacturing business, founding the town of Philipsburg in Pennsylvania. In 1800, at the end of a ten-month tour of England, her husband dropped down dead and, distraught, she remained in Philadelphia where she raised their only child. She was left with a comfortable income of $6,000/year of which $2,000 was derived from Henry's investments and the remainder was from her own portfolio given to her by her father. In 1810, she was joined by Henry's youngest brother, Hardman Philips, who had fled England on a trumped up charge of attempted murder told in his biography. She welcomed him into the Chew family as though he were one of their family and became, "his greatest champion in the New World, and one of his strongest financial supporters".  
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 19/01/2019 and last updated on 15/09/2021.
Image Courtesy of the Frick Art Reference Library;