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Jauntily We Roll Along: 1924

Jauntily We Roll Along: 1924

"William Phillips children, 1924." Their diplomat dad was Under Secretary of State in the Harding administration. National Photo Co. View full size.


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Loose lips

Beatrice (the big sister on the right) could have sympathized with Valerie Plame Wilson (wife of Joe Wilson, and whose career in the CIA was ruined when a DC columnist reported it). According to the book "Sisterhood of Spies," Beatrice Phillips' cover as an OSS agent was blown when New York gossip columnist Igor Cassini reported in November 1942 that the "beautiful daughter of former Ambassador to Italy William Phillips" was "now doing some work for Bill Donovan's OSS." As a result, she ended up working in the agency's the biographical records department.

She, and her husband Rear Admiral Elliott B. Strauss, made it into the new century, but have died. A 2000 photo of them is at

The start of a boss.

When the oldest child is a girl they learn to boss their little brothers around telling them what they can and cannot do. And when they grow up and get married they remain, shall we say, rather assertive?

Those children led interesting lives

A quick Google search turns up the following.

Beatrice (maybe the girl on the right) married a Rear Admiral and served in the OSS during WWII.

Christopher served in the State Department and died last year.

Their mother was Caroline Astor Drayton, a NY socialite and a member of the famous Astor family of NY and the famous Drayton family of Charleston, SC.

Ragamuffins vs. Upper Crust

Compare these fortunate children with any of the kids in Lewis Hine's photographs--especially their faces.

Five Children and It

The Phillips children are so perfectly posed and dressed for this charming photo that they look quite like an illustration for some classic children's story by Edith Nesbit or C. S. Lewis. Wicker baby carriages like this one were still being made in the teens and twenties, and this one is weathered enough that it might have seen service for each of them in turn.

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