James V. Campbell papers: 1830-1941
Summary Information
Title: James V. Campbell papers
Creator: Campbell, James V. (James Valentine), 1823-1890
Dates: 1830-1941
Extent: 4.2 linear feet (in 5 boxes), 1 oversize volume
University of Michigan professor of law, Detroit, Michigan, attorney, Michigan Supreme Court justice. Family correspondence, journal of trip to Sandusky, Ohio, in 1844, and lecture materials; also papers of Valeria Campbell, corresponding secretary of the Soldiers' Aid Society of Detroit, U. S. Sanitary Commission, concerning the society, the Detroit Soldiers' Home, and other relief agencies; and University student letters, 1872-1876, of Henry M. Campbell.
Call number: 85893 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff. Revised by Leonard A. Coombs, June 1993, M. Ricah Marquez, 2006, Devon Proudfoot, 2017.

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The bulk of the collection was donated between 1940 and 1943 by Mary Campbell Hays (daughter of Edward D. Campbell). Mrs. Hays donated the Valeria Campbell material on behalf of Mary C. D. Anderson (daughter of Samuel T. Douglass). (Both donors under donor no. 1319) A small addition was made in 1993 by Catharine L. Campbell (donor 8148). Another addition was received from the Macomb County Genealogy Group (donor no. 8785) in 2006.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.


Donor(s) have not transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, James V. Campbell papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Arranged in 7 series: 1. Family Materials. 2. Charles H. Campbell Materials. 3.Cornelia L. Campbell Materials. 4.Henry M. Campbell (1783-1842) Materials. 5.Henry M. Campbell (1854-1926) Materials. 6.James V. Campbell Materials. 7.Valeria Campbell Materials.


While called the James V. Campbell papers, this collection is actually a collection of papers of Campbell's family, prominent in legal affairs in Detroit, Michigan, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Henry Munroe Campbell (1783-1842), and his wife Lois Bushnell Campbell (d. 1876), brought the family to Detroit in 1826. Henry M. Campbell was born in the upper Hudson River Valley of New York, moved to Buffalo and then in 1826 to Detroit. He worked as a merchant, banker, and judge. Henry and Lois had five children, Valeria (1815-1895), Henry Munroe (1821-1835), James Valentine (1823-1890), Lois, and Elizabeth.

Children of Henry M. Campbell:

Valeria Campbell (1815-1895) was a teacher in Detroit and during and after the Civil War served as secretary of the Soldiers' Aid Society of Detroit, later known as the Michigan Soldiers' Aid Society and the Michigan branch of the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

James Valentine Campbell (1823-1890) was born in Buffalo, New York, and came to Detroit with his family in 1826. He was admitted to the bar in 1844 and entered partnership with Samuel T. Douglass. Campbell served as secretary of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan 1845-1846, justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan 1857-1890, and Marshall Professor of Law at the University of Michigan 1859-1890. In 1849 he married Cornelia Hotchkiss Campbell (1823-1888). Together they had six children, Henry Munroe (1854-1926), James Valentine (1856-1894), Charles Hotchkiss (1858-1927), Douglass Houghton (1859-1953), Edward DeMille (1863-1925), and Cornelia Lois (known as Nellie).

Elizabeth Campbell Douglass in 1856 married Samuel Townsend Douglass (1814-1898), the law partner of James V. Campbell. Douglass moved from Fredonia N.Y. to Detroit in 1837, where his cousin Douglass Houghton was a leading physician and State Geologist, and entered the law office of Henry N. Walker and Asher B. Bates. In 1840 Bates retired and Douglass became Walker's partner. In 1844 James V. Campbell became a member of the firm now called Walker, Douglass and Campbell. Elizabeth (Campbell) Douglass and Samuel T. Douglass had three children: Mary Campbell Douglass, who attended the University of Michigan, 1874-1876, and married Frederic P. Anderson of Grosse Ile, Michigan; Benjamin Douglass (1859-1911), an 1882 engineering graduate of the University of Michigan and engineer for several Detroit companies; and Elizabeth C. (Lily) Douglass.

Children of James V. Campbell:

Henry Munroe Campbell (1854-1926) graduated from the University of Michigan in 1876 and University of Michigan Law School in 1878. He became the law partner of his brother Charles and of Henry Russel. He served as a delegate to Michigan's 1908 Constitutional Convention.

James Valentine Campbell (1856-1894) was a broker in Detroit.

Charles Hotchkiss Campbell (1858-1927) graduated from the University of Michigan in 1880, and became law partner of his brother Henry and of Henry Russel.

Douglass Houghton Campbell (1859-1953) graduated from the University of Michigan in 1882, and received his Ph.D. there in 1886. He later studied in Germany and became professor of botany at Stanford University.

Edward DeMille Campbell (1863-1925) graduated from the University of Michigan in 1886 and became professor of chemistry there. He was blinded in a laboratory accident in 1892.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The James V. Campbell papers include materials documenting Campbell's career as professor of law at the University of Michigan, lawyer, and Michigan State Supreme court justice as well as papers of other Campbell family members. The papers include family correspondence, a journal of a trip to Sandusky, Ohio, in 1844, and lecture materials; also papers of Valeria Campbell, corresponding secretary of the Soldiers' Aid Society of Detroit, U. S. Sanitary Commission, concerning the society, the Detroit Soldiers' Home, and other relief agencies; and University student letters, 1872-1876, of Henry M. Campbell.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Blind -- Michigan.
  • Charities -- Michigan -- Detroit.
  • Christmas.
  • Germany.
  • Judges -- Michigan.
  • Law.
  • Public welfare -- United States.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Veterans -- Employment -- Michigan.
  • Women -- Michigan -- Societies and clubs.
  • Tintypes.
  • Photographs.
  • Women's resources -- limited extent.
  • Campbell, James V. (James Valentine), 1823-1890.
  • Campbell family.
  • Detroit Soldiers' Home (Mich.)
  • Anderson, Mary Douglass.
  • Harper Hospital.
  • Michigan Committee for the Relief of the South.
  • Michigan Soldiers' Aid Society.
  • Michigan. Supreme Court.
  • Northwestern Sanitary Fair (1863 : Chicago, Ill.)
  • St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Detroit, Mich.)
  • Soldiers' Aid Society of Detroit.
  • Stanford University -- Faculty.
  • United States Sanitary Commission.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Law.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Social life and customs -- 1871-1880.
  • University of Michigan -- Students -- Correspondence.
  • Campbell, Charles Hotchkiss, 1858-1927.
  • Campbell, Douglas Houghton, 1859-1953.
  • Campbell, Edward De Mille, 1863-1925.
  • Campbell, Henry M. (Henry Munroe), 1854-1926.
  • Campbell, Henry M. (Henry Munroe), 1783-1842.
  • Campbell, Nellie.
  • Campbell, Valeria, 1815-1895.
  • Campbell, Valeria, 1815-1895.
  • Campbell, James V. (James Valentine), 1823-1890.
  • Campbell family.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Family Materials 1834-1941 [series] (1.5 linear feet)

Family Materials is the largest series and consists of visual materials and a chronological sequence of family correspondence. Photographs are found within the series, primarily consisting of portraits of James V. Another folder of photographs in the series is a collection of portraits of other Campbell family members. While a number of photographs have not been identified, some have notes on the back indicating names, including Cornelia Lois, and Lois Bushnell Campbell.

The earliest portion of the family correspondence includes letters of the first Henry M. Campbell and several of his children. During the 1850s and 1860s letters of James V. Campbell to his wife and children predominate. These letters concentrate on family matters but also explain to his family Campbell's reactions to his work on the Supreme Court. The bulk of the series consists of letters to Valeria Campbell and Cornelia "Nellie" Campbell, most from family members. Many letters from Charles H., Douglass H., and Edward D. Campbell describing their student life at the University of Michigan are found in the 1870s and 1880s. Later letters describe Douglass's studies in Germany, Edward's blindness, and the later lives of all three brothers. Also in the 1870s are found letters to Mary Campbell Douglass while she attended the University of Michigan (no letters from her are included). In the period 1885-1887 a number of letters are found from women active in Soldiers' Aid Societies during the Civil War, collected by Valeria Campbell for a publication of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. This series also includes newspaper clippings and other materials not easily identified with a specific family member.

Box   1  
Inventories and notes on the papers 1940s

(created by staff of Michigan Historical Collections)

Visual Materials
Box   1  
James V. Campbell
Box   1  
Other family members and friends
Box   1  
Miscellaneous: drawing of an old house (possibly the house used by the Soldiers' Aid Society, but see the cautionary caption on the picture) and a watercolor (by Edward D. Campbell) of kingbird
Family correspondence
Box   1  
1834-1891 (33 folders)
Box   2  
1892-1904 (14 folders)
Box   2  
1905-1941 (3 folders)
Box   2  
Undated (2 folders)
Box   2  
Newspaper clippings
Box   2  
Box   2  
Miscellaneous notebooks (2 volumes)
Box   2  
Hotchkiss family miscellanea
Charles H. Campbell Materials 1872-1884 [series] (1 volume)
Box   2  
Notebook of legal and random writings 1872-1884
Cornelia L. Campbell Materials 1886, 1890 [series] (2 volumes, 1 oversize volume)

The Cornelia L. Campbell Materials series consists of a notebook of personal writings as well as two scrapbooks. The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings, brochures, and other material related to Cornelia "Nellie" Campbell's interests. Items relating to soldier care during the American Civil War, events and school, and other events she attended are found within the scrapbook.

Box   2  
Notebook 1886
Box   2  
Oversize Volume   1  
Scrapbook relating to the death of James V. Campbell 1890
Henry M. Campbell (1783-1842) Materials [series] (2 volumes)
Box   2  
Account books (2 volumes)
Henry M. Campbell (1854-1926) Materials 1872-1876 [series] (0.2 linear feet)

Henry M. Campbell (1854-1926) Materials includes letters written while a student at the University of Michigan. Other such letters are found in the main correspondence file in Family Materials.

Box   2  
Student letters written while at University of Michigan 1872-1876
James V. Campbell Materials 1830-1886 [series] (1 linear foot)

James V. Campbell Materials includes miscellaneous writings, some of them typescripts of materials held by the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library. This series also contains manuscripts, poems and stories, written by James V. Campbell. These stories and poems were given as Christmas gifts. The manuscripts are individually bound, and many of them contain clip illustrations glued onto the pages.

Box   5  
Address "On the Study of the Law," 1859
Box   5  
Journal of trip to Sandusky, Ohio 1844
Box   5  
Lectures on admiralty and shipping (2 folders)

(typescripts, originals at Burton Historical Collection)

Box   5  
Manuscript ode for dedication of University Hall 1873
Box   5  
Manuscript "Judicial History of Michigan," 1886

(typescript, original at Burton Historical Collection)

Box   5  
Tablet of legal notes
Manuscripts for Christmas and other stories
Box   5  
Untitled Christmas story 1830

(includes type transcription)

Box   5  
"A Trip to Fairy Land", story with illustrations 1838
Box   5  
"Honeylip", story with illustrations 1856
Box   5  
"Legend of King Arthur & Jack's Voyage to the West", poem 1857
Box   5  
Untitled Christmas story 1857
Box   5  
Untitled story 1860
Box   5  
"Jimmy's Ride", poem 1860
Box   5  
Untitled Christmas story 1862
Box   5  
"How a Little Boy Named Jimmy Helped Santa Claus Out of a Scrape", poem 1863
Box   5  
"Charge of the Mule Brigade", poem (newspaper clipping inside) 1863
Box   5  
"Merlin Loose", poem with illustrations 1864
Box   5  
"The Giants", poem with illustrations 1865
Box   5  
Untitled Christmas poems 1865 (2 volumes (booklets))
Box   5  
"Legend of L'anse Creuse", poem with illustrations 1866
Box   5  
Untitled Christmas poem 1866
Box   5  
"Good Old Days", poem with illustrations 1867
Box   5  
"The Strait", poem with illustrations 1868
Box   5  
"King Rene's Voyage", poem with illustrations 1869
Box   5  
"The Lost Island", poem with illustrations 1870
Box   5  
"Cruise of the Mercy", poem with illustrations 1871
Box   5  
"Genifrede", poem with illustrations 1872
Box   5  
"Bedabinoqua", poem with illustrations 1873
Box   5  
"Up the Glen", poem with illustrations 1875
Box   5  
"The Normans", poem with illustrations 1876
Box   5  
"The Heiress of Lynne", poem with illustrations 1884
Box   5  
"Adventures of a Lion", poem with illustrations undated
Valeria Campbell Materials 1860-1870 [series] (1.2 linear feet)

The Valeria Campbell Materials series consists chiefly of correspondence, reports, and other papers created or collected by Campbell in her work as secretary of the Soldiers' Aid Society of Detroit (known after 1863 as the Michigan Soldiers' Aid Society), which served as the Michigan branch of the U.S. Sanitary Commission. (The history of these organizations is complex, and is explained in detail in "History of the Michigan Soldiers' Aid Society, 1861-1865," by Robert Spiro [MHC call number EA/69/S759/H673].) The papers document the societies' efforts to aid soldiers during the war as well as to care for the needs of returning veterans at the war's end. Also included are papers relating to the Detroit Soldiers' Home, Harper Hospital and Soldiers' Home, the Michigan Committee for the Relief of the South, and the Northwest Sanitary Fair. One item unrelated to soldiers' aid is Campbell's Sunday School record book from St. Paul's Church in Detroit.

Detroit Soldiers' Home
Box   3  
Papers 1863-1867 (3 folders)
Box   3  
Statements and receipts 1865
Box   3  
Harper Hospital and Soldiers' Home record book 1866-1867 (1 volume)
Box   3  
Michigan Committee for Relief of the South papers 1867
Box   3  
Northwest Sanitary Fair papers 1864-1866
Box   3  
St. Paul's Church Sunday School record book 1860-1862 (1 volume)
Soldiers' Aid Society of Detroit and Michigan Soldiers' Aid Society
Box   3  
Auxiliaries of the Michigan Branch of U.S. Sanitary Commission (1 volume)
Box   3  
Correspondence 1861-1870, undated (9 folders)
Box   3  
Donations 1861-1866, undated (3 folders)
Box   3  
Michigan branch societies papers 1862-1886
Box   3  
Newspaper clippings
Box   3  
Papers 1861-1870, undated (5 folders)
Box   3  
Papers entitled "Red Cross of the Sixties" and "Miss Valeria and the War"
Box   3  
Reports 1862-1865 (2 folders)
Box   3  
Reports, circulars and broadsides
Box   3  
Statements and receipts 1863-1868 (4 folders)
Box   4  
Applicants' register of U.S. Sanitary Commission Bureau of Information and Employment 1865
Box   4  
Scrapbook relating to Soldiers' Aid Society of Detroit 1863-1864
Additional Descriptive Data
Related Materials

Papers of James V. Campbell's law partner and brother-in-law Samuel T. Douglass are found in the Douglass family papers, 1812-1911, in the Bentley Library.

Student notebooks of Charles H. Campbell and Edward D. Campbell, and some later work of Edward D. Campbell are found in Charles H. Campbell student notebook, 1879, and Edward D. Campbell papers, 1882-1903, in the Bentley Library.

The Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library, has papers of Henry Munroe Campbell (which also include Michigan Soldiers' Aid Society material), James V. Campbell, Samuel T. Douglass, and the law firm of Douglass and Walker.

Separately cataloged items in the Bentley Historical Library and the University Library include:

  1. Closing remarks of Prof. J.V. Campbell to the graduating class of the Law department, March 21st, 1863. (Bentley call no. DA 2 C188.5 C645)
  2. Closing remarks of Prof. J.V. Campbell to the graduating class of the Law department, March 21st, 1863. (Hatcher call no. HATCH/ARGM: 350 C188cl, electronic version available)
  3. [Pamphlets and articles about Campbell] (Bentley call no. J17 .C1883 A1)
  4. Oration delivered by Hon. James V. Campbell,1861 (BUHR/GRAD: E286 .C19)