John Allen Campbell

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John Allen Campbell
John Allen Campbell.jpg
Born(1835-10-08)October 8, 1835
Salem, Ohio
DiedJuly 14, 1880(1880-07-14) (aged 44)
Washington, D.C.
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1861–1866, 1867–1869
RankLieutenant Colonel
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

John Allen Campbell (October 8, 1835 – July 14, 1880) was a politician and officer in the United States Army, as well as the first Governor of the Wyoming Territory.[1]


Campbell was born in Salem, Ohio and attended public school in Ohio.[2] As a young man, he was an attendee of the 1850 Ohio Women's Rights Convention.[3] In 1861, he joined the Union Army in the Civil War, during which time he served as a publicity writer and later as adjutant general on Major General John M. Schofield's staff.[4] He advanced from lieutenant to lieutenant colonel. On February 24, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Campbell for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on April 10, 1866.[5]

John Campbell married Isabella Wunderly, daughter of Benjamin Wunderly and Rachel Knettle Wunderly, on February 1, 1872. Campbell died 8 years later. Isabella never remarried and died on September 23, 1923 in Washington D.C.. Both John and Isabella are buried at the Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C.[6]


Campbell continued to serve under Major General Schofield during the Reconstruction Period, and in Virginia Campbell helped set up senatorial and representative districts. President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him Governor of Wyoming Territory in 1869 and again in 1873. While Governor, Campbell approved the first law in United States history explicitly granting women the right to vote. The law was approved on December 10, 1869. This day was later commemorated as Wyoming Day.[7]

In 1875, Campbell served as Third Assistant Secretary of State under Secretary of State Hamilton Fish. Campbell was a member of the Republican Party.[8]

Campbell was appointed American Consul at Basel, Switzerland, on December 3, 1877, and resigned on February 4, 1880.[9]

Death and legacy[edit]

Campbell died on July 14, 1880 and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Campbell County, Wyoming, was named either for him or for Robert Campbell, an early trapper, who was a fur trader associated with William Henry Ashley. [10]

In popular culture[edit]

  • Campbell is portrayed by Ed Prentiss in the Lawman episode "The Truce" (1960), starring John Russell. In the story line, a wanted outlaw, O.C. Coulsen (played by Robert McQueeney) turns himself in to Marshal Dan Troop in hopes that Governor Campbell will grant Coulsen clemency, because Coulsen had saved the governor's life during the American Civil War. Meanwhile, a sheriff in pursuit seeks credit for Coulsen's arrest. The governor informs Coulsen that he must first undergo arrest and trial before there can be any consideration of a pardon.
  • Campbell is portrayed by Jake Weber, as a main character – the provisional governor of Wyoming and overseer of the Union Pacific Railroad, in Hell on Wheels' fourth and fifth seasons.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Governors of Wyoming". State of Wyoming. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  2. ^ "John Campbell". Wyoming State Historical Society. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  3. ^ "Ohio's Connections". Ohio Suffrage Centennial. Retrieved 2020-09-12.
  4. ^ "John A. Campbell (R)". Wyoming State Archives. Retrieved July 21, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Eicher, John H.; Eicher, David J. (June 2002). Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press (published 2001). p. 742. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
  6. ^ Burial Detail: Campbell, John Allen (Section 1, Grave 568) – ANC Explorer
  7. ^ "Today in History". The Library of Congress. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  8. ^ "John A. Campbell (R)". Wyoming State Archives. Retrieved July 21, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "John Allen Campbell". Wyoming State Archives. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  10. ^ Urbanek, Mae (1988). Wyoming Place Names. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87842-204-8.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
New Office
Third Assistant Secretary of State
February 24, 1875 – November 30, 1877
Succeeded by
Charles Payson