George W. Campbell

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George Washington Campbell
CAMPBELL, George W-Treasury (BEP engraved portrait).jpg
Engraved portrait of George W. Campbell
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
October 10, 1815 – April 20, 1818
Preceded by Joseph Anderson
Succeeded by John H. Eaton
5th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
February 9, 1814 – October 5, 1814
President James Madison
Preceded by Albert Gallatin
Succeeded by Alexander J. Dallas
Personal details
Born (1769-02-09)February 9, 1769
Tongue, Highland, Scotland
Died February 17, 1848(1848-02-17) (aged 79)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Harriot Stoddert Campbell
Alma mater College of New Jersey
Profession Politician, Lawyer

George Washington Campbell (February 9, 1769 – February 17, 1848) was an American statesman who served as a U.S. Representative, Senator, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice, U.S. Ambassador to Russia and the 5th United States Secretary of the Treasury from February to October 1814.

Biography[edit]

Born in Tongue, Highland, he immigrated as a young lad to North Carolina in 1772 with his parents. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (which is now Princeton University) in 1794[1] and began studying law. He was admitted to the bar in North Carolina and began practicing in Knoxville, Tennessee.

U.S. House[edit]

He was elected to the United States House of Representatives as the Representative from Tennessee's at-large congressional district in 1803. He served in the House from 1805–1809, in the 8th, 9th, and 10th Congresses. During the 10th Congress, he was the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He was also one of the managers appointed in 1804 to conduct the impeachment hearings for John Pickering, judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, and later in the same year, the impeachment hearings against Samuel Chase, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He wounded Representative Barrent Gardiner of New York during a duel at Blandensburg, Maryland in 1808. Source Wikipedia article on Barrent Gardiner

He left Congress in 1809 to become judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court, serving until 1811.

U.S. Senate and ambassadorship[edit]

He served as a United States Senator from Tennessee twice, once from 1811 to 1814, having been elected to fill the seat of Jenkin Whiteside, and again from 1815 to 1818. His first service was from October 8, 1811 to February 11, 1814, when he resigned to accept appointment as the United States Secretary of the Treasury. He returned to the Senate on October 10, 1815. He served as the first chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and its predecessor from December 4, 1815, until his resignation from the Senate on April 20, 1818; on this occasion to accept appointment as United States Ambassador to Russia, a position he held from 1818-1821. Campbell served as a member of the French Spoliation Claims Commission in 1831.

Secretary of the Treasury[edit]

Appointed Secretary of the Treasury by James Madison, he faced national financial disorder brought on by the War of 1812. Congress had failed to recharter the First Bank of the United States after its charter expired in 1811, and appropriations for the war were unavailable, so Campbell had to convince Americans to buy government bonds. He was forced to meet to lenders terms, selling government bonds at exorbitant interest rates. In September, 1814 the British occupied Washington, D.C. and the credit of the government was lowered even further. Campbell was unsuccessful in his efforts to raise money through additional bond sales and he resigned that October after only eight months in office, disillusioned and in bad health.

He died in 1848 and is buried at Nashville City Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee.

Campbell County, Tennessee, is named in his honor.

References[edit]

  1. ^ see the book: Princeton College During the Eighteenth Century, at

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
None (new seat)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's at-large congressional district

March 4, 1803 – March 3, 1805
Served alongside: William Dickson and John Rhea, in a 3-seat district
Succeeded by
None (seat eliminated)
Preceded by
None (new district)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 2nd congressional district

March 4, 1805 – March 3, 1809
Succeeded by
Robert Weakley
United States Senate
Preceded by
Jenkin Whiteside
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
October 8, 1811 – February 11, 1814
Served alongside: Joseph Anderson
Succeeded by
John Williams
Preceded by
Joseph Anderson
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Tennessee
October 10, 1815 – April 20, 1818
Served alongside: Jesse Wharton, John Williams
Succeeded by
John H. Eaton
Preceded by
None
(Committee created)
Chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Finance and a Uniform National Currency
1815 – 1816
Succeeded by
None
(Select committee was replaced by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee)
Preceded by
None
(New standing committee created to replace U.S. Senate Select Committee on Finance and a Uniform National Currency)
Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
1816 – 1818
Succeeded by
John W. Eppes
Political offices
Preceded by
Albert Gallatin
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
Served under: James Madison

February 9, 1814 – October 5, 1814
Succeeded by
Alexander J. Dallas