SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

John A. Campbell, 1853-1861

Justice John A. Campbell, 1853-1861
JOHN A. CAMPBELL was born near Washington, Georgia, on June 24, 1811. He was graduated from the University of Georgia in 1825 at the age of fourteen. He attended West Point Military Academy for three years but withdrew following the death of his father. After reading law for one year, Campbell was admitted to the Georgia bar. He moved to Alabama and established a law practice in Montgomery. In 1837 he moved to Mobile and was elected to the Alabama State Legislature. He was re-elected in 1843. President Franklin Pierce nominated Campbell to the Supreme Court of the United States on March 21, 1853. The Senate confirmed the appointment on March 22, 1853. When the South seceded from the Union, Campbell represented the southern states in an unsuccessful effort to mediate the impending conflict with the Lincoln Administration. Campbell resigned from the Court on April 30, 1861. From 1862 to 1865, he served in the Confederacy as Assistant Secretary of War for conscription. When the War ended, Campbell was imprisoned by the Union Army for several months. He was released by order of President Andrew Johnson and moved to New Orleans, where he re-established law practice. Campbell returned to the Supreme Court on several occasions to argue cases and died on March 12, 1889, at the age of seventy-seven.