First Mayor John Phillips
"Born in Boston, November 26, 1770; died May 29,1823; served as Mayor during 1822.
A service of twenty-five years in the General Court, during ten of which he was president of the Senate, well qualified John Phillips for the new office of Mayor of Boston. He had also served for many years as town advocate and public prosecutor. He has been described as a man 'of a rather pliable disposition, but of strict integrity and general good judgment.'
Conservative tendencies led him to preserve as much of the ancient regime as possible; and it was well, for it made the transition to a city government so much easier. His activities were mainly confined to the organization of the administrative machinery created by, the first city charter. Men who had been instrumental in securing it, and expected radical changes at once, showed some dissatisfaction with the administration of Mayor Phillips, but his conservative course was an asset rather than a hindrance in laying the proper foundations for a city government.
It is of interest to observe that at the very first election of a mayor political feeling ran high. Josiah Quincy was an avowed candidate for the office, likewise Harrison Gray Otis. Both finally withdrew their names after an acrimonious campaign full of charges and counter-charges, and left the field open for John Phillips. The latter's delicate health made him refuse a second term, the mayors at that time being chosen annually."