This section of the Clarion County PAGenWeb site contains a transcription of the book, The Journal of James Campbell 1813-1892, which was published in a limited edition run of 100 copies by The Naylor Co., San Antonio, TX, 1955.
The original leather-bound volume contains 334 pages. The text was scanned and digitized using OmniPage Pro and formatted into HTML for this site. The digitized text was proofread as closely as possible, but some errors could have been missed. Please accept our apologies.
The book is not divided into chapters or any other logical segments. For presentation on this Web site, the book has been divided up as logically as possible with the goal of optimizing page load times.
Judge Campbell moved to Clarion just after the county formed. He writes in extremely vivid detail about the people, places, and experiences he found there. Much of the book discusses his family, education, career, and investments. Those passages have been left intact, even though they may not relate specifically to Clarion County, because of the background they provide for readers.
The journal began January 25th, 1885, when Judge Campbell was 71-years-old.
Foreword by Ruth Campbell Taylor
My father, Robert Douglas Campbell, gave me the original manuscript, written in a lined day book, of this journal by my grandfather, James Campbell.
The journal was begun fourteen years after James Campbell retired from the bench, and was written over a period of about five years and completed about three years prior to his death. He wrote this as if he were living it, and not as an old man. It covers, principally, his education, practice of law, his judicial experience and retirement.
I would like particularly to call to the attention of my grandchildren that he was reading both Greek and Latin while in high school.
In order to preserve the original manuscript, I had it bound. Believing the journal would be of interest to members of the family, and as it was impractical to circulate the original, I decided to have it put into book form, and I hope it will prove to be of interest.
Chronology of Hon. James Campbell
July 25, 1813 -- Born - Son of John and Rachel (Oliver) Campbell
1837 -- Graduated from Jefferson College
1840 -- Settled in Clarion, Pennsylvania
May 10, 1847 -- Married Nancy Jane Hallock
1861-71 -- President-Judge of the 18th Judicial District
January 25, 1885 -- Journal begun
Subsequent to October 29, 1889 (date of brother's passing) -- Journal ended
August 3, 1892 -- Died
The Armstrong County Beers Project has more information on Judge Campbell's lineage, his obituary, and post-mortem tributes.
From the Centre County, PAGenWeb site:
Three books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte apparently deal in part with the Campbell family. They are Joseph Campbell's Genealogical Account of the Ancestors of Joseph Andrew Kelly Campbell and Elizabeth Edith Deal (His Wife); Sue Campbell's Family History of John Campbell 1730-1810 and His Sister Jane 1736-1821, Chester, Pa. and Mifflin Co., Pa.; and Hallock Sherrard's The Campbells of Kishacoquillas: Historical Sketch and Genealogical Records of the Robert Campbell Family, and the John Campbell Family. [The last volume would address Judge Campbell's family.]
Section 1: School Days
The life of a student at an Academy or College is necessarily monotonous and without much variety, and I will pass over that part of my life briefly. My friend Paul arrived a day or two after I did, entering in the middle of a Term. We started by ourselves. Our first lesson was in Adams Latin grammar. We were roommates as well as classmates. To two young farmers, declining Latin nouns seemed a trifling business and was slow and tiresome, and soon Mr. Paul decided there was no sense in it. But we fell into the ways of the school.
One of the scholars was a full blooded negro who did several things besides reading Latin. At the Winter Term he rung the bell at precisely 5 o'clock A.M. and in ten minutes from the first tap he commenced calling the roll in the chapel, and all failing to answer were marked for punishment or censure. This was for the double purpose of teaching the boys the habit of early rising and to be smart at dressing. Then came prayer and a selected speech from one of the students, then breakfast in the large dining room. Dr. Jankin's family and the tutors sat at the table. Then family worship, singing a hymn, reading a chapter in which all the students took a part, and prayer by Dr. Jankin or someone called on by him. Then study till 10 A.M., then go to the shop and work two hours.
In those days traveling trunks were made of pine boards and covered with goat skins. This was one branch of the work performed by the students for which they were paid so much an hour. Another extensive branch was making husk mattresses. The husks were hackled fine and made into bed mattresses, and this furnished work for quite a number. Then they had a turning lathe propelled by a wheel, turned by the students like a grindstone. Turning this lathe was not popular work among the boys. Other work in wood was also done. After dinner, reciting and study till 4:30 P.M., then two hours' work. After supper, study, reading and social talk. I soon became acquainted with the boys and had company plenty. Mr. Paul was not quick at picking up the grammar, although he mumbled away at it faithfully, and I soon got ahead of him. Finally after several weeks the old Doctor set us our first lesson in Visi Romae and we were some hours poring over "Sumator sax Albinorum duos filios habuit," but we worked it out triumphantly, and I felt with some exultation that I was reading Latin.
We plodded along till about the first of February, when my chum, Jim Paul got tired and said he would go home. He was a clever fellow and the only one who could talk with me about my friends at home. He sent his trunk by stage and went home as he came -- on foot. On Sundays after church we did a great deal of talking. The Sunday morning after he left was balmy and warm. My window was hoisted and I was sitting there enjoying the fresh air, when the first bluebird of the season perched on a pear tree near my window and began to sing. I had been lonesome before, and the soft notes to me were all of home, and in all my after life I never felt so strong an emotion of homesickness as on that morning-and it stuck to me all day. I did not want to go to church, till I did, but in the afternoon I walked away out a lane eastward some three miles and sat upon a fence by a quaking aspen tree quite away from any house. I cut the initials of my name on the tree and the date. I took a long look at the country around me and I thought I never wished to see that spot again, and I never have. That was a blue day in my College life.
About this time Dr. Jankin was elected President of Lafayette College at Easton. The talk was that as many of the students as could be induced to go were to be taken up during the April vacation, and work would be plenty in getting ready to open by the first of May the 22nd of February of that year, a day's vacation was given the students to attend the centennial anniversary of Geo. Washington's birthday. Nearly all went -- many on foot -- I traveled with this crowd. It was a great show. I was on my feet the whole day except about 20 minutes while I was eating a lunch. Every trade was represented, and most of them had a shop on wheels with men at work in them. I recollect a small ship on wheels with sailors aboard climbing up among the sails, though propelled by horse power, and one fellow in the rear of the vessel taking soundings which was thought very funny. The carpenters had an elegant coach with thirteen columns supporting a highly ornamental cap of Liberty. The coach was drawn by eight splendid gray horses with a boy on each. A man on the weavers' car wove carpets all that day. The printers struck off Washington's farewell address and distributed all day among the crowd. Bricks were moulded on the brickmakers' car. Four hundred fine looking young butchers dressed in white shirts over pants rode in line. About 4,000 uniformed militia and Marines marched at the head of the procession. A vast crowd was in the city. It was said that one hundred thousand people were present on Broad street when the procession was passing. I stayed to see the illumination. I stood in front of the State House steps when old Bishop White (then said to be over 80) knelt and made the prayer dismissing the procession. I saw the old man kneel on the steps, his long, gray hair swaying with the breeze as he prayed for the country. All appeased, and I felt solemn. Just after dark the State House was illuminated, but I was worn out and with two others started to walk to Germantown. I never did a harder day's work. We got our supper at the Academy and I needed no one to rock me to sleep that night.
Some time that winter Stephen Girard died. The news came to the Academy the next morning.
I worked away quietly at my Latin till the April vacation and intended to work enough to pay my boarding till the first of May. About that time several wagons were loaded for Easton and about fifteen or twenty of the students went along. In a couple of weeks after that Tommy Pollock, our farmer, was going to take another load up and proposed to take me along if I would walk up the hills. I accepted the proposal, and we got under way one pleasant morning about the middle of April. I never liked Germantown, and as soon as I got up through Mount Airy and got a sniff of fresh country air, I felt full of fun and frolic, and I enjoyed walking up the hills rather more than sitting up in the wagon with Tommy. It was a two days' trip and I had a pleasant time and could have walked ahead and left him but had not the heart to do so. The second evening I tumbled in among the boys at Easton and had a jolly time.
They were putting up a rough frame house to hold a dozen or so of the students through the summer. Dr. Jankin was not there. We had good boarding, plenty of work and got paid for it. I don't recollect how much, but there were no strikes in those days and we were satisfied. I planed, plowed and grooved boards and sometimes assisted to haul up from the river.
The College was started in a farm house south of the Lehigh, rented from a man named Medlar. There was a good sized farm house and barn, the latter used for a carpenter shop. It is now in what is called South Easton, but then no houses near it except a small one out at the road occupied by an old fellow called "Dunnhiller," and the lockhouse down at the canal. The location overlooked the town up on the side of the hill southeast of the lock. A chain bridge over the Lehigh connected us with the town. It was then a place of four thousand inhabitants, pretty compactly built up. A covered bridge spanned the Delaware. A dam at the mouth of the Lehigh, by means of a lock, let the boats out into the Delaware, and on the New Jersey side connected with the Morris and Essex Canal to New York. At that day a large quantity of coal came down the Lehigh Canal from Mauch Chunk and on to New York. Right opposite the College building there was a flat between the Lehigh and the bank and close up to the steep bank was a stagnant pond which the next fall poisoned the atmosphere at the College and caused sickness.
By the first of May the new building was completed, and with three others I was put into one of the rooms upstairs.
At the commencement of the term, six boys from New York City came on about as far advanced as I was. A nice young French boy named Dilateur was found so much ahead of the rest that he was advanced to the next class. I had been pretty thoroughly drilled in the grammar and generally parsed every word in the lesson. My new classmates could read pretty well, but seemed to have had little or no training in parsing and I soon found that I could beat them translating and instead of being a help they were a drag on me. This went on for a few weeks (we were then reading Caesar). One day the old Doctor came in to hear us recite. The lesson was not long, and soon we got to parsing, and when one failed the word was passed on to the next, and as I was pretty well posted I parsed nearly all the lesson. The result was the others were put back to Visi Romae and I was told to get a Virgil and go into the next class ahead of me.
In that class were William Worrell, a man of 30 and had a family, his brother, Charley a couple of years younger, and Isaac Hall about the same. They seemed to resent my intrusion into the class. They wanted long lessons and it required hard and pretty long work for me to get the lessons; and when I made a mistake in reciting, which I sometimes did, they were careful to sneer and laugh till I got to hate the whole three, and I formed a stern resolution to give them enough of it before the end of the session. Charley McCoy was our tutor. He was afterwards President, I think, of Columbia College, South Carolina.
Section 2: Illness & Recuperation
I studied real hard that summer -- I believe more hours than any member of the class. I could soon get longer and better lessons than any but Dilateur. He was smarter to learn Latin than I was. Toward the end of the Term, Hall had a close fight to hold his place in the class and I got to like him, but the Worrells and I never were friendly.
There was no manual labor there that amounted to anything. A pretense of running the farm by the students was kept up, but I mind of doing very little work and I know I studied faithfully. During that summer I learned to swim in the Lehigh. Some of the older students got to manufacturing laughing gas. I inhaled, I think, twice. It made my head ache and I have never tried it since.
Along about August bilious fever broke out in the College. One of my roommates named Morton got it. I frequently sat up with him, and when I did I read Latin sometimes all night, and next day the class would be surprised at how well I could read long lessons, and I got credit for being far smarter than I was for I did not enlighten them about my night studies -- and I bestowed many a triumphant sneer at my friends the Worrells.
Horton grew worse; several others were down. I was working hard for my fall examination. Suddenly word came that the cholera had reached New York and in a few days many were dying. About that time my roommate, Horton, died. The evening he was buried I felt so unwell I could not attend his funeral. That evening the cholera reached Easton and two or three Irishmen died in a few hours' sickness. Next day Dr. Swift came to see me and told me I had the bilious fever. My recollection of the next three weeks is misty -- emetics, calomel and flighty dreams, all in a confused mass. Dr. Swift was an old and skillful physician. With a good constitution and plenty of physic he ran the fever out of me. I mind of falling asleep one forenoon and I heard nothing till after the middle of the day. No one was in the room -- nurses were scarce and I put in several sick nights alone, but that day when I woke I had a strange feeling. I never was as happy in my life. It seemed to me all the world had sat down to rest, and there was no more trouble in life. As I got more awake, I knew there was a change. I put my hand to my forehead and my skin was moist. While I lay wondering what was the matter, Dr. Swift came in and rubbed his hand over my face, then took a sharp look at my tongue, laughed and said, "You are well. All you want is something to eat", and he went off and got me food. Then I had nothing to do but get well.
My tutor, Mr. McCoy had about as bad a time as I had and lay sick at Dr. Jankin's. He had got to be very friendly with me during the summer and as he grew better he wanted me for company. I had not seen a female face while I was sick, but during my convalescence one day a knock was heard at my door and Mrs. Jankin came in (she had a good motherly face), and in her kind way pitied me till I came within an ace of blubbering. But she made me go with her in their carriage - - I did not know where, but took me home with her, and no Mother could have been kinder than she was to Charley and me. They lived over in the town.
At that time there was a large society of young ladies in Easton, as well as older ones, and we saw a good deal of company and I improved very fast. In the short time I was there, I formed a profound respect for Mrs. Jankin and loved her as a Mother. My tutor was very friendly -- though older, when alone together he was as much a boy as I was; but my cheeks were filling up and the young ladies began to look too pretty for me to stay longer. So I got in the stage at 1 o'clock one morning and started home. That night at 11 P.M. I was in Harrisburg -- weak, tired and hungry. I rested there a day and on the 4th day of November, just one year from the day I left, I rode up the valley and received a warm welcome from those around my Father's hearth.
I found home an excellent place to recuperate, but as I grew fat, my hair fell out. Although a new crop soon started out, I think it has never been so thick, healthy or curly since. My two older brothers have good heads of hair yet, while mine is grey and very thin amounting to baldness.
There was beautiful Indian Summer weather that fall after I went home, and Uncle John Oliver, my brother Oliver and I visited our friends the Pattersons in Tuscarora. We went on horseback, crossed the Juniata River below Meyersburg and struck into Humphreys Gap and followed a path and blind road right through the mountains and came out in the evening in the valley near where the Reverend Mr. Coulter lived, where we stayed all night. Next day we went down to Uncle John Pattersons' where we found, besides the old people, two boy cousins, Robert and John, and four girls, and there were several married and gone. We were royally entertained. The girls were Betsey, Mollie, Isabella and Jane. They were nice looking young ladies. Jane was about eighteen and I fell a little bit in love with her. She was smaller than the others, but decidedly pretty. We were escorted across the valley to farmer John Patterson's and found another house full of cousins. Uncle John went home in a day or two and Oliver and I stayed several days. I recollect of my Cousin Jane with one of the other and older girls escorting me away across the fields to hear a little Scotchman play the bagpipes. Well, it was a very pleasant visit and we started home and I never saw Jane since.
Section 3: Jefferson College
I stayed at home till about Christmas, and then packed up bag and baggage and started for Jefferson College at Canonsburg in Washington County. I was two days and all of one night and part of another in the stage getting to Pittsburgh. The stage office was in Wood Street, kept by old Sheriff Weaver. Next day, through muddy roads, we waggoned along in the stage and reached Canonsburg in the evening. I went directly to Dr. Brown's house and presented my letters of introduction. He had been acquainted with my grandfather, Judge Oliver, and gave me a cordial reception, assigned me a room in the old College building with Samuel McCune as my roommate.
At this time the College under Dr. Mathew Brown was in flourishing condition. Professor Kennedy, Professor of Mathematics, William Smith of Languages with Parks and Marshall as tutors. I think the rolls showed in the preparatory and College departments two hundred and forty or fifty students -- a good many from Virginia, South Carolina and Kentucky, but the most were from Pennsylvania and Ohio. I went into the preparatory department. Samuel Hamill and William Osborne had gone from Germantown to Canonsburg the spring before, and the night I got there they gave me a most cordial welcome. This was in the last days of 1832 between Christmas and New Years -- I entered the preparatory department.
At that time our vacations were in April and October, and I remained at the College till the fall of 1837, going home but twice -- in October 1833 and 1835. The other vacations I spent walking around the country. I mind of going out one time to Mount Pleasant in Westmoreland County with Ed Doty and Hugh Hamilton to see an old friend, Reverend Wm. Annan and wife. We traveled on foot, stayed all night, and next day got on a boat loaded with whiskey and came down the Youghiogheny to McKeesport. Next day, started on foot down to Pittsburgh. Doty and Hamilton stopped there, but my money being about exhausted, I went right on to Canonsburg where I arrived in the afternoon. Two or three vacations I walked out to Greene County and stayed at Reverend Cornelius Laughrans. He was married to my Aunt Margaret and they used me well and I traveled around and over the hills of that county a good deal.
Once I went to Waynesburg. The country was then new and a great deal of it covered with heavy timber. Sometimes I spent the vacation at Canonsburg, taking long walks around the hills, and became very well acquainted with the topography of the country. The first winter I was at College, some of the younger students got to throwing snowballs at people passing and got up a fight between the students and the town people. One day there was quite a riot -- as many as a dozen fights going on at the same time. The first time I ever saw H. N. McAllister, he was fighting. Nobody was much hurt, but dire threats were made that the College would be gutted and for several nights after, great preparations were made for a sanguinary battle, but it ended in a war of words in which the students generally had the advantage.
Our tutor, Mr. Parks, was a good linguist and we studied Latin and Greek under him till the fall of 1833 and then entered the Freshman class under Professor William Smith. I found that it took more work for me to learn the dead languages than some others, but by industry and care I could master the lessons and I made out to occupy a respectable position in the class, and the longer I worked at it the easier it got. In mathematics I was not so successful. It was always labor for me in the higher branches. Although I worked pretty hard, I was not as good as others whom I could easily beat in other branches. In natural philosophy and chemistry, I found no trouble, and in metaphysics I thought myself equal to any in the class.
Samuel McCune and I occupied a room on the third story of the old College building till the fall of 1834. At that time I descended to the second story and took a room with Elijah Creswell, a first rate young man from our own valley. With him I remained till he graduated in the fall of 1835. He was older than I and a man of principle and ability. I was sorry when he left. He went south and taught an academy in Jamestown, Alabama, on the Tombigbee River. He married and raised a family there and died many years ago. We corresponded for a number of years after I left College.
In the fall of 1835, I went out about half a mile north of town and boarded at "Fort Camonargo". Old man Cummings was a farmer and also a good mechanic. He had a wife and four daughters -- young ladies. They were an excellent family -- kept about ten boarders; had a large brick house and pleasant surroundings. The most pleasant part of my college life was spent there. I retain vivid recollections of many happy evenings; I ran wild along the banks of the little stream in front of the house, or sat on a bench under the Locust trees on the brow of the hill. The girls were bright and good talkers and I spent many social evenings in their company. He was a Scotchman of mind and character. He invented a machine for making cards that was a model of skill and ingenuity, but he was old and not much of a farmer. I mind one year he could not get hands to cut his wheat field. On the 4th of July we had a few days' vacation, and the boarders proposed if he would get us the tools we would cut his crop. Although he had not much confidence in our efficiency, he got a couple of cradles and some rakes. Samuel Cooper and I being farmers' sons, swung the cradles and the rest tied the sheaves and put them in shock. In two days we cut 8 or 10 acres of very good wheat. The last evening the girls brought us out the "evening piece" and although we had just finished, they spread a splendid supper for us in the edge of the woods and such a picnic and fun as we had would have caused chronic dyspepsia. Well, these were happy days and we marched home helping the girls to carry the dishes as proud as veterans returning victorious from the army. The good old man wanted to pay us, but we overwhelmed him with scorn at the idea that we were working for money; and Doctor Beer, from the number of spring chickens we had demolished at "evening piece", undertook to convince him that he was a clean balance out of pocket. The laughter and sport of that jovial party comes back to me over a chasm of fifty years, but with the exception of 4 or 5, the voices of all the family and party that participated in that evening meal are silent forever.
One quiet night in September, I had just gone to bed and was settling myself to sleep when some pebbles were thrown against my window. I got up and looked out and saw two or three fellows standing under the window. I throwed [sic] on some clothes and went down and found Tom Lamar, Nils, Scott and Shep Patrick. They told me that an outrage had been committed. That Bob Holland had cowhided his sister for keeping company with a young shoemaker, that there was an immemorial law of the college (not written) that all such offenses were punished by ducking. I went with them over to "Tusculum". In a private room seven of us met, and blackened our faces and put on old clothes till we were pretty effectually disguised. A horse belonging to a student was pressed into the service without the knowledge of the owner. Holland was keeping the McFadden House, and about one o'clock Lamar rode up and got off and thumped at the barroom door. Instead of Holland, a big negro hostler came to the door. Tom told him to go and wake his master, that he wanted to see him. The darkey came down and said Holland would not get up. Tom sent him back and got him up, but he came down with nothing on but his shirt. Tom called him to the door and caught him in his arms, and the rest of us who had been concealed around the corner, rushed up and jerked him off his feet and ran across the street with him. Scott had a handful of rags to gag him, but he could not get them into his mouth, and he yelled murder as loud as he could. Windows went up and heads poked out, some with night caps on. It was a bright moonlight, but we ran on with him to the west side of the town. A little stream of water running under a bridge had washed a hole three or four feet deep. We doused him in -- made him put his head under the water. By the time he got out his shirt was torn to ribbons and he presented a sorry picture. He was told what it was for, but little was said.
He was glad to get away and so were we, for we saw people coming down the hill-but we cleared ourselves and were never found out or at least prosecuted. This was the greatest outrage I ever assisted to perpetrate, and I remember it with regret. The man had never done us any harm, and to this day I don't know whether the charge against him was true or not. Many of the students knew all about it, and one had to leave the college and go home -- not because he was one of the party, but because he had talked too much.
When I entered the freshman class in the fall of 1833, I became a member of the Philo Society. In the new College building over the College Hall, two large rooms had been fitted up for the two Literary societies, the Philo and Franklin, to one or other of which nearly all the students in the College classes belonged. They pretended to be secret, but they were so much alike that it did not amount to much. The initiation fee was five dollars -- this with the fines imposed, was appropriated to the purchase of books. Each Society had a library consisting of about 1,500 volumes at the time I entered. The rooms were handsomely frescoed, carpeted and seats along each side with a desk in front of each seat. There were also a platform at each end -- one for the officers and one for the regular exercises of the society. The officers consisted of two Librarians, two reviewers, Eporch and Aichon. The exercises consisted of original and selected orations, original essays and debate at the close of each class.
The members were called on for remarks and often they were criticized without mercy. The original compositions were handed to the reviewers and at the next meeting they announced their corrections and criticism. The societies met every Friday night and a session generally continued till 10 or 11 o'clock. Sometimes extra meetings were called for special business, and sometimes these meetings were extra stormy. The exercises in our society were well calculated and did improve the students in debate and public speaking as well as in composition. This was very striking with some, and the boys soon found what they were best at. During the four years I was a member of the Philo Society I served a term in every office of the society. The officers were elected every six weeks.
During the freshman and sophomore years we finished the Latin and Greek; also studied Watts' logic and I think in that time Cavallos' Natural Philosophy, and the course of studies in mathematics prescribed in the curriculum. One session we studied algebra and conic sections under Professor Haderman. He was a fine intellectual German and had been an officer in the French Army under Napoleon, but he did not stay long in Washington. Mr. Cartney was then elected Professor of Mathematics. He was a graduate of the College, and a man of learning and ability, and we finished under him. Dr. Jacob Green of Philadelphia was the Professor of Chemistry and he came out every summer and taught the class and delivered a course of lectures. He was the author of a work on chemistry which was our textbook. On that branch he was regarded as one of the most learned and successful teachers of the day. He was then a pretty old man, and I heard of his death many years ago. I recollect him as an eloquent speaker and good instructor, but exacting and sometimes severe.
Dr. Mathew Brown, the President of the College, was a tall, spare man with the bearing and manners of a finished gentleman. I have a very distinct recollection of his high toned, graceful appearance as he walked up the aisle of the hall to the pulpit. He was by his learning and ability well qualified for his position, and in addition possessed in a high degree administrative ability, and was an excellent judge of character, particularly of young men, and took a great interest in the progress of his students. He had a keen sense of the ridiculous and a witty remark always brought a smile to his face. The fact is the boys felt that he loved them and they would take a scolding from him that they would have resented from any of the other professors. In the latter part of the junior year and during the senior year, our class was taught by him, and I became impressed with the deep and friendly interest he took in us, and I felt a profound respect for the kind and genial old man. While he was stern and resolute in maintaining the rules of the College, no father could have been kinder in