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Campbell Family Papers

Campbell Family Papers

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Guide to the Campbell Family Papers


New York State Historical Association - Research Library
Special Collections
P.O. Box 800, 5798 State Highway 80
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-1470

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-01-30T11:09-0500

Repository: New York State Historical Association - Research Library
Title: Campbell Family Papers
Dates: 1750-1926
Quantity: 20.0 Cubic feet + 51 volumes + 10 oversize folders (OVS)
Funding Source:This finding aid was made available electronically through a Regional Bibliographic Data Bases (RBDB) grant from the South Central Regional Library Council, Ithaca, N.Y.
Identification: Coll. No. 313
Language: English

Scope and Content Note

The Campbell family papers highlight five generations of the Campbell family of Cherry Valley, Otsego County, New York. The history of the family and their involvement in the legal and political scene of Cherry Valley and New York State is presented through correspondence, business and legal papers, photographs and daguerreotypes, land surveys, and writings and research notes on local history. The papers span the years from 1750 to 1925.

The majority of the collection revolves around the lives of three men, William B. Campbell (1768-1844), William W. Campbell (1806-1881), and Douglas Campbell (1840-1893). There is much correspondence between these men and other family members. Of particular note are the Civil War letters of Cleaveland J. Campbell, brother to Douglas, and numerous letters between Douglas and his son William A. Campbell while the latter was away at school and just beginning in the legal profession.

Also of interest are the numerous patent and Great Western Turnpike survey maps drawn by William B. Campbell and his contemporaries. The collection contains an extensive history of Schenectady (mainly late 18th century to first half of the 19th century) which focuses on early families and has many maps illustrating the histories of Schenectady streets and buildings. The early history of Cherry Valley is represented by papers relating to the Cherry Valley Academy and the Presbyterian Church, as well as the Academic Library and general town business (a portion of an 1814 census is among the papers).

Additionally, the collection includes papers relating to the Starkweather, Bowers, Crafts, and Paige families -- all related to the Campbells by marriage.

Arrangement note

Series titles consisting of personal names followed by dates in parenthesis indicate birth and death dates rather than the date range of the manuscripts.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Campbell family of Cherry Valley, New York, originated in Scotland. James Campbell, the first Campbell of Cherry Valley, was born in 1690 in Londonderry, Ireland. He moved to Boston in 1728 and found his way to Cherry Valley in 1741. After the 1770 death of James, son Colonel Samuel Campbell inherited his father's land patent, which became known as Auchinbreck. Samuel's six children were captured in the Cherry Valley Massacre of 1778, but all were later released.

The Campbell's penchant for the legal profession began with Col. Samuel Campbell and continued through the generations. It should also be mentioned that two family members, William W. Campbell (1806-1881) and Douglas Campbell (1840-1893), had a strong interest in history, which resulted in the publication of several historical works, notably The Annals of Tryon County, written by William W. Campbell.

In addition, Douglas Campbell (the 2nd) wrote a family history entitled, "The Campbells of Cherry Valley."

Biographical Sketches

NOTE: Many dates are derived from the papers and should not be regarded as absolute or all-inclusive.

James Campbell (1690-1770)

1690Born in Londonderry, Ireland
1728Moved to Boston, Mass.
1741Brought family to Cherry Valley, N.Y.

Colonel Samuel Campbell (1738-1824)

1738Born in Londonderry, N.H.
1741Moved with family to Cherry Valley, N.Y.
1778His family is captured in Cherry Valley Massacre; all later released
ca. 1797Commissioner of highways

He served in the French War and in the Revolution as a colonel of the First Regiment of Tryon County Militia and sat in the state legislature.

John Campbell (1720-1810)

A farmer in Cherry Valley.

Dr. William B. Campbell (1768-1844)

1778Captured in the Cherry Valley Massacre
1795Treasurer and trustee of Cherry Valley Academy
ca. 1805-1810Partner in Diell & Campbell (dry goods store in Cherry Valley)
ca. 1810-1815Justice of the Peace, Otsego County
1825Elected by directors of Otsego Lake Turnpike Road to survey

He was also a farmer, doctor, surveyor general of New York State, university regent, and Cherry Valley Town Supervisor.

James S. Campbell (1772-1870)

1778Captured in the Cherry Valley Massacre, lived with the Caughnawagas
1804-1805Coroner of Otsego County
1808-1813Overseer of Highways in Cherry Valley
ca. 1819Treasurer and trustee of the Cherry Valley Academy
1819Judge of the Court of Common Pleas
1823Director for New York State Central Society for the Deaf and Dumb
ca. 1850President of the Cherry Valley Female Academy

Henry J. Campbell (d. 1884)

He lived primarily in New York City and Elizabethtown, N.Y. An attorney, for a time he was part of Whallen, Judd & Campbell. He also had an interest in iron mining.

George W. Campbell

He was deaf and dumb, attended a school for similarly handicapped students. Became a carpenter, inherited a portion of his father's farm and in the 1860s was growing apples.

Samuel B. Campbell (1811-1887)

An attorney who resided in Castleton, N.Y.

John Cannon Campbell (1817-1891)

1841Worked on Aqueduct Bridge
1853-1857Worked with Indianapolis and Illinois Central Railway Company
1860Opened office of railway construction in New York City
1863-1865Worked with Racine and Mississippi Railroad, Racine, Wis.
1869Worked at Harlem River and Porchester Railroad, New York City
1871-1879Office of Public Works, New York City
1883-1885President of North American Metaline Company, New York City

William W. Campbell (1806-1881)

1827Union College
ca. 1843Member of Congress
1843-1855Judge of Superior Court of New York City
1857-1865Judge of Supreme Court of New York City
1865Judge of Court of Appeals

An attorney, mainly working in New York City. Wrote several histories and biographies: The Annals of Tryon County, "Life of Mrs. Grant," "Life of Dewitt Clinton," and An Historical sketch of Robin Hood and Captain Kidd.

Alfred E. Campbell (m. 1824)

1826Lived in Wayne County, N.Y.
1827Moved to Newark, N.J.
1828-1830Minister in Palmyra, N.Y.
1834Living in Ithaca, N.Y.
1853Living in New York City
1863Associated with the American & Foreign Christian Union

A minister.

Augustus Campbell

1849Mined in Sacramento, Calif., then traveled to Panama
1859-63Physician in Gloversville
ca. 1865-69Lived in Galena
ca. 1870Lived in Dunleith

A physician; lost an eye.

Douglas Campbell (1840-1893)

1858-60Union College
1865Harvard Law School
ca. 1871-1874Attorney with Hilton, Campbell and Bell, New York City
ca. 1888-89Partner in Campbell & Paige

As an attorney he was based in New York City. He was also a partner in Campbell and Bell. Served in Civil War as a captain. Member of Sigma Phi Society, New-York Historical Society, Century Club, and Union League Club. Wrote The Puritan in Holland, England, and America.

Helen S. Campbell

1883-84Visited Florence, Italy
ca. 1885Patient at Hudson River State Hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
1890-1892Patient at Brigham Hall, Canandaigua, N.Y.

She often stayed with her Uncle Samuel B. Campbell in Castleton. Later came under guardianship to her brother Douglas.

Colin Campbell (ca. 1838-1858)

1856Union College

Member of Sigma Phi Society. Died in sailing accident in Castleton.

Cleaveland J. Campbell (1838-1865)

1854Union College
1859Started Irving S. and Cleaveland J. (IS & CJ) Campbell Law & Collection Office, New York
1862-1865Served in Civil War, became a captain of division of Colored Troops

Lewis Averill Campbell (b. 1842, m. 1868)

1862In school in Andover, Mass.
1867Started Campbell & Co., Forwarding and Commission Merchants in Lumber
1868-1880L.A. Campbell & Co., (lumber) Toledo, Ohio
1878-1880Sheriffs office, Toledo, Ohio
ca. 1882-1885Lived in New Mexico
ca. 1890Organized electric company in Massachusetts

Douglas Campbell (d. 1950)

An attorney.

William A. Campbell (d. 1925)

n.d.Attended St. Paul's School
1885-1888Attended Yale
1889-1891Attended Harvard Law School
ca. 1892Worked at Choate & Beaman law firm

Also worked for Edward Winslow Paige; Rollins & Rollins; Rothwell, Harper & Matthews.

Harriet Mumford Campbell ("Sistie")

1888-1890Attended Miss Porter's School, Fannington, Conn.

Maria Starkweather Campbell


Samuel Starkweather

1812Served as private in New York Militia
1831Visited London
ca. 1830-1839Representative in New York State Legislature
1832-1843Separated from wife, Marcia Averell
1847Legally separated from Marcia Averell

Lived mainly in Cooperstown.

Alfred Crafts

Resident of Cherry Valley and contemporary of William B. Campbell. Merchant; overseer of the poor for Cherry Valley.

Henry Bowers (d. 1800) and Mary Bowers

Lived in New York City. The grandparents of Harriet Bowers Paige (Douglas Campbell's wife).

Alonzo Paige

n.d.Attended Williams College
1828District Attorney
1827-1830Member of Assembly, New York
1836, 1838-1841Senator
1847-1850, 1855-1856Justice of Supreme Court of New York State
1857-58Judge of the Court of Appeals
1867Member of Constitutional Convention

Benjamin Maverick Mumford

1811Fire warden and fireman for New York City

A Schenectady merchant.


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