Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
James V. Campbell Papers

Finding aid created by
Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: James V. Campbell Papers
Creator: Campbell, James V. (James Valentine), 1823-1890.
Inclusive dates: 1823-1881, and Undated
Extent: .5 cubic foot (in 1 box)
Papers include notes and papers written about the early history of Detroit, biographical materials, and correspondence.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

no Acc#

Access Restrictions:

James V. Campbell Papers are open for research.


Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

James V. Campbell Papers, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


Arrangement is alphabetical then chronological.



James Valentine Campbell was born on February 25, 1823 in Buffalo, New York, the son of Henry Campbell. Henry was a merchant who brought his family to Detroit, Michigan, in 1826. Henry worked as a county court judge in New York (State) and Michigan.

James was educated at Flushing, New York, and graduated from St. Paul’s College (1841). He was admitted to the bar at Detroit in October 1844. In 1857, upon establishment of the Michigan Supreme Court, he was elected one of the justices, holding the office until he died.

Closely identified with the advancement of educational and refining influences, especially in Detroit, James served as president of the Young Men’s Society in 1848, and as a member of the Board of Education for several years. In 1859 he was chosen as Marshall Prof. of Law in the newly established Law Dept. at the University of Michigan. He served as Chair of the Department for many years. He was the first recipient of the degree of Doctor of Laws from that University in 1866.

In 1876, Campbell published his book, Outlines of the political history of Michigan.

Politically, he was a Whig until the Whig party ceased to exist. Campbell then became a Republican.

Campbell died on March 26, 1890 at Detroit. (This information is from Michigan biography, v. I.)

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection includes many undated notes and papers Campbell wrote about the early history of Detroit, Michigan. Some Correspondence, 1823-1881, undated (2 folders), and one folder each of Deeds, 1852 (not Campbell’s) and Biographical Material (copy), undated, complete the collection. Among the more noteworthy Mich. correspondents are Governor K. C. Bingham (April 22, 1857 letter to Campbell re: the position of Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court), and Charles C. Trowbridge, (letters to Campbell August 21, 1877 and September 7, 1881 re: the safekeeping of historical documents).

There is also an 1870 copy of a 1823 letter by John R. Williams to Fr. Gabriel Richard criticizing Richards for “meddling with political affairs.”

Subject Terms

    • Campbell, James V. (James Valentine), 1823-1890.
    • Trowbridge, C. C. (Charles Christopher), 1800-1883
    • Richard, Gabriel, 1767-1832.
    • Williams, John R., 1782-1854.
    • Bingham, Kinsley S. (Kinsley Scott), 1808-1861.
    • Michigan--Politics and government, 1837-1959.
    • Detroit (Mich.)--History.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    James V. Campbell Papers. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Biographical Materials (copy), undated
    Box   1 F   2
    Changes in the systems of society, Paper, undated
    Box   1 F   3
    Correspondence, 1823-1881
    Box   1 F   4
    Correspondence, undated
    Box   1 F   5
    Deeds, 1882
    Box   1 F   6
    Early French Settlement and Settlers about Detroit, Paper, undated
    Box   1 F   7
    The Formation of Our Country, Paper, undated
    Box   1 F   8
    Miscellaneous, Papers and Notes re: 1701-1868 (scattered), undated
    Box   1 F   9
    Miscellaneous, Papers and Notes (folder 1 of 3), undated
    Box   1 F   10
    Miscellaneous, Papers and Notes (folder 2 of 3), undated
    Box   1 F   11
    Miscellaneous, Papers and Notes (folder 3 of 3), undated
    Box   1 F   12
    [The] Moravians Meeting the Indians, Paper, undated
    Box   1 F   13
    [The] Moravians in Michigan, Paper, undated
    Box   1 F   14
    A Relation of Facts connected with the Pontiac War and the attempt to Massacre the Garrison at Detroit, in 1763, undated