John Archibald Campbell: Southern Moderate, 1811–1889

John Archibald Campbell: Southern Moderate, 1811–1889

by Robert Saunders

>>>DOWNLOAD BOOK John Archibald Campbell: Southern Moderate, 1811–1889

Saunders presents the first full biography of the southern U.S. Supreme

Court justice who championed both the U.S. Constitution and states' rights.

The life of John Archibald Campbell reflects nearly every

major development of 19th-century American history. He participated either

directly or indirectly in events ranging from the Indian removal process

of the 1830s, to sectionalism and the Civil War, to Reconstruction and

redemption. Although not a defender of slavery, he feared that abrupt abolition

would produce severe economic and social dislocation. He urged southerners

to reform their labor system and to prepare for the eventual abolition

of slavery. In the early 1850s he proposed a series of reforms to strengthen

slave families and to educate the slaves so as to prepare them for assimilation

into society as productive citizens. These views distinguished him from

many southerners who steadfastly maintained the sanctity of the peculiar


Born and schooled in Georgia, Campbell moved to Montgomery,

Alabama, in the early 1830s, where he joined a successful law practice.

He served in the Alabama legislature for a brief period and then moved

with his family to Mobile to establish a law practice. In 1853 Campbell

was appointed an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. His concurring

opinion in the Dred Scott case in 1857 derived not from the standpoint

of protecting slavery but from an attempt to return political power to

the states. As the sectional crisis gathered heat, Campbell counseled moderation.

He became widely detested in the North because of his defense of states'

rights, and he was distrusted in the South because of his moderate views

on slavery and secession. In May 1861 Campbell resigned from the Court

and later became the Confederacy's assistant secretary of war. After the

war, Campbell moved his law practice to New Orleans. Upon his death in

1889, memorial speakers in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans recognized

him as one of the nation's most gifted lawyers and praised his vast learning

and mastery of both the common law and the civil law.

In this first full biography of Campbell, Robert Saunders,

Jr., reveals the prevalence of anti-secession views prior to the Civil

War and covers both the judicial aspects and the political history of this

crucial period in southern history.

John Archibald Campbell Southern Moderate 1811ndash1889

Robert Saunders

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