Draper Manuscripts: King's Mountain Papers, 1756-1887

Container Title
Series: 8 DD - 10 DD (Volumes 8-10)
Scope and Content Note: Three volumes of Arthur and William Campbell papers. Cousins by blood and brothers-in-law by Arthur's marriage to William's sister Margaret, both Arthur (1743-1811) and William (1745-1781) Campbell were prominent political and military leaders in the area of southwestern Virginia which became Washington County. Both participated actively in frontier defense during the Revolutionary years beginning in 1774. William was chosen commander-in-chief of the army which fought victoriously at King's Mountain. Arthur did not participate in that battle, but approved the campaign and kept a defensive watch in his home region. In the early 1840s Draper began to acquire many of these papers, either as originals or copies, from Campbell descendants, most notably Congressman William B. Campbell of Tennessee and former Governor David Campbell of Virginia.
Subseries: 8 DD (Volume 8)
Scope and Content Note

Manuscript copies of Campbell family papers, mainly 1774-1823. Two letters in 1774 concern defense plans for the family in Dunmore's War. Several letters in the summer of 1780 relate to the New River expedition. Papers pertaining to the King's Mountain campaign include general orders issued by William Campbell, muster rolls and lists of officers in the Washington County militia, and a few letters (1780-1781) written in the months following the battle. In a series of five letters in 1810 to David Campbell, Arthur Campbell discussed his writing of a memoir of the anniversary of the battle. Copies of newspaper articles (1813, 1822-1823) by William C. Preston and statements gathered from King's Mountain survivors to refute portions of Shelby's recollections fill half of this volume. Besides Arthur and William Campbell, writers of other letters included Martin Armstrong, Archibald Blair, William Christian, Horatio Gates, Nathanael Greene, the Marquis de Lafayette, Henry Lee, Samuel Newell, William Preston, William C. Preston, and George Rutledge. Recipients were Arthur, David, and William Campbell and William Preston.

Scattered in the volume are several articles in manuscript: one on King's Mountain by David Campbell (a copy; the original is in 16 DD); one on William Campbell and one on the battle of Guilford Court House (1781), both by John Campbell; one on William Campbell and one on the battles of Cowpens and King's Mountain, both by Arthur Campbell. Also found are a few letters dated after 1823, a list of Sir William Johnson papers owned in 1877 by J. Bailey Myers, a list of Campbell manuscripts which Draper borrowed for copying and returned to John S. Preston in 1880, and Draper's drafts of his articles on William Campbell and Benjamin Cleveland for Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography in 1886.

Subseries: 9 DD (Volume 9)
Scope and Content Note

Original manuscripts, 1774-1841, primarily papers of Arthur Campbell. Major topics include military campaigns and Indian problems, 1774-1782, politics in Kentucky; the rise and fall of the State of Franklin; and reactions to federal power and policies affecting the western states from the 1780s to early 1800s. A letter (1785) by Virginia legislator Andrew Stuart mentioned George Washington's connection with companies to improve navigation of the Potomac and James rivers. Several letters, 1788-1789, by Campbell and others discussed the new federal constitution. In 1791 Samuel McDowell in recognition of “the unhappy People we have as Property” outlined his plan for ending the institution of slavery. A letter (1792) by John D. Campbell concerned religious conditions in Virginia and Kentucky. William Christian, writer of eight letters (1776-1786), and William Edmiston (Edmondson), recipient of six (1780-1782) from Arthur Campbell and of one (1780) from William Campbell, are the correspondents noted most frequently. Other writers represented by one or two letters are John Adair, Maccartan Campbell, John Crittenden, John Donelson, Benjamin Harrison, Henry Knox, James Martin, George Maxwell, Samuel Newell, Edmund Randolph, Evan Shelby, John Steele, John Strother, John Tipton, and James White. Others addressed, usually by Arthur Campbell, include William Blount, David Campbell, Charles Cummings, Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Randolph, Jacob Read, Isaac Shelby, Daniel Smith, Oliver Spencer, John Cleves Symmes, and Daniel Trigg.

Other documents found in the volume are a call (1773) to Charles Cummings to be minister to Ebbing and Sinking Spring Presbyterian congregations in Fincastle County, Virginia, bearing the names of 139 members; Arthur Campbell's report on the 1781 expedition against the Cherokee; a speech [1786] by Governor Randolph to the Cherokee to express regret for Indian murders by whites and to promise retribution; a few Campbell family obituaries; a newspaper clipping involving the Shelby-Campbell controversy. One letter of later date (1841) and variant topic was written by artist Thomas Buchanan Read to Edwin R. Campbell concerning an exhibition of Read's painting. In addition to original papers, Draper included a few selected copies of letters (1777-1778) to Edward Hand.

Subseries: 10 DD (Volume 10)
Scope and Content Note

Papers acquired from the Campbell family, but mainly letters written to Draper, 1840-1849, by David Campbell (1779-1859), William B. Campbell (1807-1867), and historian Charles Campbell (1807-1876). The correspondence contains references to many men and events in the lives of William and Arthur Campbell, comments on the work of contemporary nineteenth-century historians, opinions on domestic politics and international affairs, and news of Draper himself-his travels, his move to Madison, his health, and his marriage to Mrs. Lydia Remsen (Mrs. Peter A. Remsen).

In addition to the Campbell family, persons discussed significantly in the letters include Reece Bowen, Gilbert Christian, Henry Cresswell, Charles Cummings, James Dysart, William Edmondson (Edmiston), Stephen Holston, Samuel Newell, Ambrose Powell, William Russell, and James Wood. David Campbell wrote for Draper narratives on the Tory bandits Francis and William Hopkins, on Arthur Campbell's capture by the Indians in 1756 and his subsequent escape and service with the British troops, and on the battle of King's Mountain. David also furnished a copy of the biographical sketch of William Campbell by Arthur Campbell (of which the original is in 16 DD), wrote biographical sketches of John and Robert Campbell, and composed a short autobiography (1852) followed by later comments on Stephen Van Renssalaer and James Wilkinson under whom he had served in the War of 1812.

Seven spritely letters, 1840-1841, sent to Edwin R. Campbell by Thomas Buchanan Read contain a few of Read's original poems; remarks on his artistic and literary pursuits, on Horace Greeley and other New York editors, and on several of his fellow artists; and descriptions of his participation in a Democratic barbecue in Kentucky during the 1840 presidential campaign and of his visit to Philadelphia and Independence Hall. Miscellaneous papers found in the volume include a narrative of Indian captivity and escape by a Mrs. Scott, sister of Harry Dickinson, and Draper's draft of his obituary of William Martin (1846).