Scope and Contents
Papers of Archibald W. Campbell (1839-1899), editor of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. A strong unionist and Republican Party member, he worked hard through his editorials and behind the scenes in order to support the formation of the new state of West Virginia. The collection includes correspondence, clippings, ephemera, and scrapbooks dealing with the Civil War and political affairs in West Virginia's early statehood period. Some of the correspondence asks Campbell to publish specific accounts of events or rebuttals of others, showing the importance of the newspapers in shaping public perception. Correspondents include family members, Jacob B. Blair, Cassius M. Clay, Sherrard Clemens, B.F. Kelley, Francis H. Pierpont, John C. Underwood, and others.
Series 1. Correspondence; 1855-1897, undated; box 1, folders 1-11. This series includes letters and telegrams, most written to Campbell. Notable items include:
political letters from abolitionists John C. Underwood, secretary of the Emigrant Aid and Homestead Society (1859-1861; folders 1-4, etc.), and Cassius M. Clay (1859-1860; folders 2-4);
a letter from Francis H. Pierpont regarding support of William L. Goggin and Waitman T. Willey against John Letcher in the upcoming governor election (1859; folder 1);
a telegram to "postmaster" from George McClellan calling for the suspension of postal service in seceding counties (1861; folder 5);
a telegram to Campbell from B.F. Kelley asking him to spread the word that the rumor of mail being robbed is false (1861; folder 6); and
telegrams from "Kennedy" and Jacob B. Blair regarding the statehood bill (1862; folder 7).
Correspondents include family members, Jacob B. Blair, Montgomery Blair, Arthur I. Boreman, Cassius M. Clay, Sherrard Clemens, Schuyler Colfax, Edward Everett, Horace Greeley, B.F. Kelley, George McClellan, Joseph Medill, Francis H. Pierpont, William H. Seward, Franz Sigel, Edwin M. Stanton, John C. Underwood, and Peter G. Van Winkle.
Series 2. Material from Scrapbooks; ca. 1852-1897, 1941; box 1, folders 12-15. This series includes scrapbook pages of newspaper clippings and ephemera. The newspaper clippings include articles written by Campbell, and generally cover West Virginia history and the statehood movement. Ephemera includes press passes from the National Democratic Convention in Baltimore (1860; folder 15); two "Union State" tickets for West Virginia's election (1864; folders 13 and 15); national Republican and Democratic tickets for the national election (1868; folder 13); and other items.
Series 3. Scrapbooks; ca. 1890s; box 2. This series contains two scrapbooks which belonged to Jessie Campbell Nave, Archibald's daughter. The scrapbooks contain clippings of his articles about travels to Ireland and Italy, reminiscences on early statehood in West Virginia, and other topics. See A&M 3500 for Jessie Campbell Nave's diaries.
Biographical / Historical
Archibald W. Campbell (April 4, 1833-February 13, 1899) was editor and part owner of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer newspaper and a leader in the West Virginia statehood movement. He was the nephew of Alexander Campbell, founder and first president of Bethany College and a founder of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Archibald Campbell was born in Steubenville, Ohio. He spent most of his childhood in Bethany, West Virginia, and attended Bethany College, graduating in 1852. He then attended Hamilton College Law School in Clinton, New York, graduating in 1855. He moved to Wheeling in spring 1856 to take a job at the Daily Intelligencer. In the fall of 1856, he and John F. McDermot purchased the paper and Campbell became editor.
Campbell was a member of the fledgling Republican Party, and editorials in his paper favored Republican causes, especially the abolition of slavery and preservation of the Union. The Intelligencer was the only Republican daily paper in Virginia and the only paper in the state to endorse Abraham Lincoln for the presidency in 1860. Campbell strongly opposed Virginia's secession from the United States. He supported the creation of the Reorganized Government of Virginia, and he worked hard, through his editorials and behind the scenes, for the formation of the new state of West Virginia. President Lincoln appointed Campbell postmaster of the Wheeling Post Office in 1861. According to Campbell's daughter, Jessie Campbell Nave, it was he who wrote the text of the telegram (sent by Governor Pierpont) that reputedly convinced President Lincoln to sign the West Virginia statehood bill.
In Campbell's later years, he retired from the newspaper and traveled extensively. He died of a stroke at the home of a sister in Webster Groves, Missouri.
This historical note is based on an article in the West Virginia Encyclopedia.
0.5 Linear Feet (Summary: 6 in. (1 document case, 2 1/2 in.); (1 flat storage box, 3 1/2 in.))