Keeper Bio: Phillips, John Adams


Date of Service: 1869 – 1877

1817: Born March 20 to parents Joshua and Mary Phillips in Somerset, MD.

1838: Marries his wife, Anne Jane Stayton on June 5, in Baltimore, MD. They raise 4 children – 3 boys and 2 girls.

1861:  Enlists in the United States Navy on June 26 and achieves the rank of Captain.

1862-1863: Commanded the US Gunboat Zouave in the Hampton Roads and Newport News, Virginia region.

1864:  Commanded the USS Snowdrop. He is discharged from the U.S. Navy on November 7th, where he returns home to Baltimore.

1869-1873:  Serves as Principal Keeper at Cove Point Lighthouse, MD, with an annual salary of $560.

1873-1877: Serves as Principal Keeper at Lazaretto Point Lighthouse, MD, with an annual salary of $500.

1877:  Died August 2 while on duty at Lazaretto Point at age 60. He is buried at Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, MD.

Keeper John Adams Phillips Anecdotes

John Phillips served as an Acting Master and Pilot in the Union Navy during the Civil War for the North Atlantic Blockade Squadron, where he served a little over three years. Pension records from personal acquaintances describe an event during the Baltimore Riots of April 1861, where John jumped into the cold water in the Baltimore Harbor to save a Union boat from being confiscated by Confederate forces.

A letter from a Rear Admiral who served alongside John during the war described John’s “knowledge of the Chesapeake and the various rivers flowing into it, struck him as being remarkable accurate.”

 Sources: Chesapeake Chapter Keeper database; Michelle Lloyd, 3rd great-grandaughter.


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