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returning home, he in a short time entered the service of Virginia as Aide-de-Camp to Governor Barbour, and gave valuable assistance in organizing the large militia force called into service in the neighborhood of Richmond and below it and about Petersburg in the summer of 1814. These services Colonel Campbell performed without pay. In the session of the Assembly of 1814-15 a law was passed for raising 10,000 troops and under it Colonel Campbell was elected General of the 3d Brigade. On the 25th of January he was appointed Colonel of the 3d Virginia Cavalry, and by the formation of the 5th Division of militia was afterwards transferred to the 5th Regiment of cavalry. Upon his return to Abingdon, Virginia, he re-entered the clerk's office, where he continued until 1820, when he was elected to the Senate of Virginia for four years. He actively participated in public affairs both before and after his election to the Senate. He was remarkable for his ready and correct judgment of men, and this, coupled with the opportunity which his position gave him, enabled him to exercise a wide-spread influence in his resident section of the State. In 1824 he was elected clerk of the county court of Washington, and continued to hold the office until he was elected Governor of Virginia, in 1836, and entered upon the office March 31, 1837.
Virginia at this period was preponderantly Democratic in politics; so decided was the sentiment of Washington County, in the Presidential election of 1828, that only thirteen votes against General Andrew Jackson were cast. David Campbell was a Jackson Democrat, as was also each of his four brothers. In his first message to the General Assembly, among other matters of public utility he proposed the establishment of the common school system, of which he was one of the earliest advocates. This was, no doubt, greatly stimulated by the fact that his own section of the State was, by its remoteness from the institutions of learning of high grade, deprived of their advantages, and was due, also, largely to his attachment to Republican institutions; and his decided conviction was potential, if not essential, in their preservation. Whilst Governor, and during the administration of President Van Buren, the SubTreasury scheme and the Standing Army bill, as they were commonly called, were made party measures; being opposed to them, he warmly supported General Harrison in the canvass of 1840, and ever after acted with the Whig party. He was alike opposed to centralization on the hand, and nullification and secession on the other. Governor Campbell was succeeded in the office, March 31, 1840, by Thomas Walker Gilmer, and retired to his home in Abingdon. Soon afterwards the office of Justice of the Peace being tendered him, he accepted it, and was diligent in the discharge of its entire duties to the year 1852, when he retired to private life after having spent nearly a half century in the public service. In person Governor Campbell was about five feet eleven inches in height, spare, and erect in carriage, with dark hair
and eyes, an intellectual countenance, and pleasing manners. not gifted as a public speaker. As a writer, his style was simple, terse, and vigorous.
He was not a member of any religious denomination, but, profoundly convinced of the truth of the Bible, he believed that the highest and best manifestation of religion was a life in accordance with its teachings.
For the last two years of his life he was confined by declining health to his chamber, but gave no evidence of that mental decay which sometimes attends old age, and his interest in public affairs seemed unabated. He died, calmly and peacefully, March 19, 1859, in the eightieth year
A portrait of Governor Campbell is exhibited in the State Library at Richmond. A nephew, Hon. John A. Campbell, of Abingdon, Virginia, a distinguished jurist, late Colonel Confederate States Army, gallantly commanded during our late war the 48th Virginia Regiment, which he raised and organized. It was incorporated in the 2d Brigade of the Division of General “Stonewall” Jackson, which was composed of the 21st, 42d, and 48th Virginia Regiments, the Irish Battalion, and the Battery of Lawrence S. Marge, afterwards Colonel Marge. The Brigade was for a time commanded by Colonel William Gilham of the 21st Virginia, then by Colonel Jesse S. Burks of the 420 Virginia, who, receiving a disabling wound at the battle of Kernstown in March, 1862, was succeeded by Colonel Campbell, who remained in command until the month of May, when he also was severely wounded in front of Winchester, Virginia. Before recovering sufficiently to return to the army Colonel Campbell was elected Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Virginia, and at the request of his constituents resigned his commission in the army. The Campbell family of the common ancestry of Governor Campbell has been numerously and distinguishedly represented in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and other States.
THOMAS WALKER GILMER.
The ancestry of Thomas Walker Gilmer was highly worthy. His paternal great-grandfather, Dr. George Gilmer, a native of Scotland, * and a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, migrated to Virginia early in the eighteenth century, and settled in Williamsburg, where he
* He was of the same lineage, it is said, as the Gilmours of Craig-Millar Castle, seated two and a half miles south of Edinburgh. The arms of the Gilmer family of Virginia are: Az, a chevron between two fleurs-de-lis in chief d'or; and in base, a writing pen, full feathered ar. Crest-A garlan i of laurel proper. Motto: Preseveranti dabiter.
successfully combined the vocations of physician, surgeon, and druggist for quite fifty years, dying January 15, 1757, widely loved and esteemed in the colony. He was three times married: first, to a daughter of Dr. Ridgway (a medical partner in early life), by whom he had no issue; secondly, May 13, 1732, to Mary Peachy (died October 1, 1745), daughter of Thomas and Susan (Peachy) Walker, of King and Queen County, Virginia, and sister of Dr. Thomas Walker, the patriot and early explorer of Kentucky; thirdly, December 11, 1745, to Harrison (died November 1, 1755), daughter of Dr. Archibald Blair, of Williamsburg, Virginia, a sister of Hon. John Blair, President of Virginia Council and Acting Governor of Virginia, and a niece of Commissary James Blair, President of William and Mary College. By his second marriage, Dr. George Gilmer had issue four sons: i. Peachy Ridgway, born March 6, 1737–8, married Mary Meriwether, settled at “Lethe," Rockingham County (and had issue: i. Thomas Meriwether, married Elizabeth Lewis, and removed to Georgia, settling on Broad River. He was the father of a large family, among them Hon. George Rockingham Gilmer, member of Congress, Governor of Georgia, and author of “The Georgians;” ii. George; iii. Mary Peachy; iv. Elizabeth Thornton, married Major Robert Grattan; v. Lucy; vi. Frances Walker, married Richard Taliaferro); ii. George, born January 19, 1742–3, studied medicine with his uncle, Dr. Thomas Walker, and graduated at Edinburgh, Scotland. The issue of Dr. George Gilmer by his third marriage was: iii. John, born April 26, 1748; an officer under Lafayette in the Revolution; married Mildred Meriwether, and died, in 1790, at his seat on Broad River, in the State of Georgia ; iv. William, born May 22, 1753, died May 30, 1753.
Dr. George Gilmer, the second of the name, returning to Virginia after graduating, succeeded to the practice of his father in Williamsburg, but after a time removed to Albemarle County, where he married his first cousin Lucy (born May 5, 1751), daughter of Dr. Thomas Walker by his first marriage with Mildred (nee Thornton), widow of Nicholas Meriwether. He settled at“ Pen Park," and soon attained a lucrative practice in his profession. The friend and intimate associate of Thomas Jefferson, he was an ardent patriot from the beginning to the end of the struggle for Independence. He served Albemarle in the House of Burgesses, and, as early as 1774, offered a resolution in that body on the subject of the Crown Lands, which was seconded by William Henry. He was gifted as an orator, and, when Lord Dunmore seized the powder of the colony, Dr. Gilmer harangued the citizens of Albemarle with such eloquence, that a company was immediately formed to march to Williamsburg to demand redress. Of this company Charles Lewis was chosen captain, and Dr. George Gilmer lieutenant. The company marched to Williamsburg, but their patriotic mission was anticipated by Patrick Henry. In the Convention of 1775, which met at Williamsburg, Dr. Gilmer was returned
by Albemarle County as the alternate of Thomas Jefferson. His wife was a worthy mate to such a patriot. During the early days of the struggle for Independence, the patriots in different sections of the country found great difficulty in corresponding with each other, and it became necessary to establish a secret means of intercommunication by private letter-carriers. Mr. Jefferson, during a visit to his friend Dr. Gilmer at this period, in conversation with him, deplored the want of funds to defray the expense of such correspondence. Mrs. Gilmer, who was present, immedíately left the room, and speedily returning with her personal jewels, of much value, handed them to Mr. Jefferson, and, with tearful eyes, asked him to use them in the cause of her country. Nor was she less a heroine than a patriot. When the British troops, under the command of Tarleton, entered Charlottesville in pursuit of the Assembly, as has been detailed in a preceding sketch, Mr. A., a friend of Dr. Gilmer, was a guest of Mrs. Gilmer, her husband being absent professionally. Mr. A., mounting his horse, attempted to escape, but was shot down, and carried off by the enemy. Mrs. Gilmer, learning that he was still alive, determined to succor him; and, accompanied by a maiden sister only, made her way perilously through the village, filled with drunken and disorderly troopers, to the presence of Tarleton himself, on her errand of mercy. He was so filled with admiration at the courage displayed by Mrs. Gilmer, that he not only delivered to her the helpless and insensible form of her friend, but sent his own surgeon to attend him until Dr. Gilmer returned. Mr. A. happily recovered, to gallantly serve his country, and to bequeath to his descendants a debt of gratitude to the worthy couple of “Pen Park.”
The issue of Dr. George and Lucy (Walker) Gilmer was: i. Francis Walker, an accomplished scholar and writer, the first professor of law of the University of Virginia, and who selected in Europe the remaining six professors with which that institution * was organized in 1825; ii. Peachy R.; ii. Mildred, the first wife of the eminent William Wirt; iv. George, married Eliza, daughter of Captain Christopher Hudson, a gallant patriot of the Revolution. Of their issue, Thomas Walker, the subject of this sketch, was born at "Gilmerton,” his father's seat, in Albemarle County, April 6, 1802. He early exhibited studious habits, and, at the age of fourteen, was sent to live with his uncle, Mr. Peter Minor, at " Ridgway,” for private tuition in his family. The tutor, a meek and quiet young man, was but a few years older than young Walker Gilmer, and occupied the same room with him and a cousin of the same age, William Gilmer. The mischievous boys often made the mild teacher the victim of their pranks, one of which was to
* Sketches, Essays, and Translations by Francis W. Gilmer. Published, Baltimore. 1828, 12mo. He also reported Cases decided in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1820 to 1821.” Richmond, 1821, 8vo.