UNLIKE EITHER GARRISON OR BROWN, Wendell Phillips, born in 1811, grew up in an atmosphere of cultural sufficiency. He belonged to one of Boston's most distinguished families, being the seventh in direct line of descent from the Rev. George Phillips who had come to Salem in 1630 to practise the Puritan way of life. As the attractive and gifted son of the city's first mayor, he had as his early companions the sons of leading families. Thomas G. Appleton, J. Lothrop Motley, and Charles Sumner were among his closest boyhood friends. On completing his preparatory studies in the famous Boston Latin School, he entered Harvard at the age of sixteen, where he made his mark as a brilliant student, the leader of his aristocratic set, and an outstanding athlete. He was also the first orator of his class, and proceeded with the study of law as a matter of course. With the eminent Judge Story as his mentor, he easily learned the fine points in the writings of Coke and Blackstone and displayed an intellectual vigor that promised a successful career. In 1834 he was admitted to the bar of Massachusetts with the cordial blessings of his teachers and elders.
"At this time," writes his biographer Carlos Martyn, "there was nothing of the radical about him -- hardly a flavor of democracy. He seemed to be the predestined leader of American conservatism, the inevitable champion of class distinctions and elegant leisure." The truth is not quite so obliging. Young Phillips was a genuine aristocrat, but he was also an authentic son of the American Revo