CAMPBELL, William Bowen (1807-1867)

CAMPBELL, WILLIAM BOWEN, (cousin of Henry Bowen), a Representative from Tennessee; born near Hendersonville, Sumner County, Tenn., February 1, 1807; attended private schools; studied law in Abingdon and Winchester, Va.; was admitted to the bar in 1829 and commenced practice in Carthage, Smith County, Tenn.; also engaged in agricultural pursuits and banking; elected district attorney in 1831; member of the State house of representatives in 1835 and 1836; captain of a company in Trousdale's regiment of Tennessee Mounted Volunteers in the Florida War; mustered out January 14, 1837; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-fifth, Twenty-sixth, and Twenty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1837-March 3, 1843); declined to be a candidate for reelection to the Twenty-eighth Congress; elected colonel of the First Tennessee Volunteers in the Mexican War June 3, 1846, and was mustered out May 25, 1847; unanimously elected judge of the fourth circuit of Tennessee and served from 1847 to 1850; served as Governor of Tennessee from 1851 to 1853; declined renomination; elected judge of the circuit court in 1857; appointed by President Lincoln brigadier general of Volunteers June 30, 1862; resigned January 26, 1863, on account of ill health; upon the readmission of the State of Tennessee to representation was elected as a Unionist to the Thirty-ninth Congress and served from July 24, 1866, to March 3, 1867; resumed banking and agricultural pursuits; died near Lebanon, Wilson County, Tenn., August 19, 1867; interment in Cedar Grove Cemetery.

Duke University Library
Durham, NC
Papers: In David Campbell and Family Papers, 1773-1908, approximately 8,043 items and 32 volumes.
Includes papers concerning William Bowen Campbell's legal education and career, his military service, and gubernatorial and congressional service. Card index in library. Also described in published guide.


New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: December 12, 1837. 1 letter.
Finding aid in repository.

  • Campbell, William Bowen. Mexican War letters of Col. William Bowen Campbell of Tennessee, written to Governor David Campbell of Virginia, 1846-1847. [Nashville: N.p., 1915].
  • ------. Speech of William B. Campbell, of Tennessee, on the Sub-treasury bill. Washington: Printed by Gales and Seaton, 1840.