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George W. Campbell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Campbell
United States Minister to Russia
In office
February 7, 1819 – July 8, 1820
PresidentJames Monroe
Preceded byWilliam Pinkney
Succeeded byHenry Middleton
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
October 10, 1815 – April 20, 1818
Preceded byJoseph Anderson
Succeeded byJohn Eaton
In office
October 8, 1811 – February 11, 1814
Preceded byJenkin Whiteside
Succeeded byJesse Wharton
5th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
February 9, 1814 – October 5, 1814
PresidentJames Madison
Preceded byWilliam Jones (Acting)
Succeeded byAlexander Dallas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1805 – March 3, 1809
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byRobert Weakley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1803 – March 3, 1805
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
George Washington Campbell

(1769-02-09)February 9, 1769
Tongue, Sutherlandshire, Scotland, Kingdom of Great Britain
DiedFebruary 17, 1848(1848-02-17) (aged 79)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
SpouseHarriot Stoddert
EducationPrinceton 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.


Born in the village of Tongue, Sutherlandshire 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. He owned slaves.[2]

U.S. House

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 to 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 House managers appointed in 1804 to prosecute the case in the impeachment trial of John Pickering, judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, and, later that year, he was also appointed a House manager for the impeachment trial of 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

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

Appointed Secretary of the Treasury on his forty-fifth birthday 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 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.

See also


  1. ^ see Princeton College During the Eighteenth Century
  2. ^ "Congress slaveowners", The Washington Post, January 19, 2022, retrieved July 8, 2022

External links

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

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

Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by United States Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
Served alongside: Joseph Anderson
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Senator (Class 1) from Tennessee
Served alongside: Jesse Wharton, John Williams
Succeeded by
New office Chair of the Senate Finance Committee
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by United States Secretary of the Treasury
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Minister to Russia
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 25 July 2023, at 04:59
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