James Edwin Campbell (poet)

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James Edwin Campbell (1867–1896) was an African-American poet, editor, short story writer and educator.


Campbell was born on September 28, 1867, in Pomeroy, Ohio;[1] he died of pneumonia on January 26, 1896, while visiting family in Pomeroy.

According to James Weldon Johnson, there is little known about Campbell's early life, which he kept shielded even from his closest associates. He attended public schools in Pomeroy and wrote regularly for daily newspapers in Chicago in the 1880s and 1890s. Campbell participated in a group publication, the Four O'Clock Magazine, a literary magazine that was quite popular for a time.

In 1891, Campbell married Mary Lewis Champ, in Harrison County, Ohio. Mary Champ was the daughter of Eveline Thompson Champ and Joseph L. Champ, a teacher and former principal of the Afro-American schools of Jefferson County, Ohio and Parkersburg, West Virginia. Mary Lewis Champ-Campbell graduated from Oberlin College in 1890, and was also a poet in her own right.

J. Edwin Campbell served as the first president of West Virginia Colored Institute (now West Virginia State University) from 1892–1894. Campbell's wife, Mary Champ-Campbell, was appointed as Instructor of Vocal Music and Drawing in 1892.

In 1887, he published Driftings and Gleanings a standard English volume of poetry and essays. He is best known for his work Echoes from the Cabin and Elsewhere, a volume of poetry. Many of his poems are written in the dialect of his subjects or the vernacular of the time, as well as standard English.

Picture is available at [1]


  1. ^ Wagner, Jean (translated by Kenneth Douglas). Black Poets in the United States: From Paul Laurence Dunbar to Langston Hughes. University of Illinois Press, 1973: 129. ISBN 0252003411

Further reading[edit]

  • The African-American Registry
  • James Weldon Johnson, ed. The Book of American Negro Poetry, 1922

External links[edit]