A history of Waterbury published in 1896 includes a reminiscence
about Philip Sampson, stating that he and his family moved
to Waterbury from Cheshire in 1832 or 1837. Sampson "was
noted for his size and strength. He weighed about 300 pounds,
and the measure of his lifting power was said to be 1600
weight. He occasionally shouldered a barrel of flour and
carried it home without assistance." Sampson worked
primarily as a whitewasher.
The author believed that Sampson had once been enslaved,
and quoted him as saying that "'The boss and I married
out of the same family. If I ever saw Rufus come to want
--referring to the son of the house-- I should take
him right into my own home!
Philip Sampson married Tamar Robins on November 15, 1827.
They were both residents of Cheshire at that time.
The 1840 census shows Philip Sampson, his wife, a daughter
under 10 and a daughter between the ages of 10 and 24
living in Waterbury. By 1850 the Sampson family had moved
to Woodbridge, Connecticut, where they owned a small farm.
The census data for that year reveals that Philip was
born in New York in 1799.