George W. Campbell

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George W. Campbell
CAMPBELL, George W-Treasury (BEP engraved portrait).jpg
United States Minister to Russia
In office
February 7, 1819 – July 8, 1820
President James Monroe
Preceded by William Pinkney
Succeeded by Henry Middleton
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
October 10, 1815 – April 20, 1818
Preceded by Joseph Anderson
Succeeded by John Eaton
In office
October 8, 1811 – February 11, 1814
Preceded by Jenkin Whiteside
Succeeded by Jesse Wharton
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 Dallas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1805 – March 3, 1809
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Robert Weakley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1803 – March 3, 1805
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born George Washington Campbell
(1769-02-09)February 9, 1769
Tongue, Scotland, Great Britain (now United Kingdom)
Died February 17, 1848(1848-02-17) (aged 79)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Harriot Stoddert
Education Princeton University (BA)

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 the village of Tongue on the north coast of Scotland, Campbell immigrated as a young boy 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]

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

U.S. Senate and ambassadorship[edit]

Campbell 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 to 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, Campbell 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. He 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.

Campbell 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 Princeton College During the Eighteenth Century

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
New constituency Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's at-large congressional district

1803–1805
Constituency abolished
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 2nd congressional district

1805–1809
Succeeded by
Robert Weakley
Preceded by
Joseph Clay
Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee
1807–1809
Succeeded by
John Eppes
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Jenkin Whiteside
United States Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
1811–1814
Served alongside: Joseph Anderson
Succeeded by
Jesse Wharton
Preceded by
Joseph Anderson
United States Senator (Class 1) from Tennessee
1815–1818
Served alongside: Jesse Wharton, John Williams
Succeeded by
John Eaton
New office Chair of the Senate Finance Committee
1815–1818
Succeeded by
John Eppes
Political offices
Preceded by
Albert Gallatin
United States Secretary of the Treasury
1814
Succeeded by
Alexander Dallas
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
William Pinkney
United States Minister to Russia
1819–1820
Succeeded by
Henry Middleton