Arthur Campbell, Indian Scout

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Colonel Arthur D. Campbell, Sr.

Also Known As: "Lt. Col.", "Arthur Campbell"
Birthplace: Augusta, VA, United States
Death: August 08, 1811 (67)
Middlesboro, KY, United States (Cancer)
Place of Burial: Rte 3 Middlesboro, KY 40965
Immediate Family:

Son of David 'White David' Campbell and Mary Campbell
Husband of Margaret Campbell
Father of Charles Lewis Campbell; Catherine Elizabeth McFarland; Margaret Campbell; Col. John B. Campbell; Mary Hamilton Beard and 20 others
Brother of Catherine McClannahan; Mary Jane Lockhart; Martha Campbell; Gen. William Campbell; Judge David Campbell and 26 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Arthur Campbell, Indian Scout

Arthur Campbell, a political and military leader in Virginia and frontier Tennessee, was born in Augusta County, Virginia, on November 3, 1743. A band of Wyandotte Indians captured fifteen-year-old Campbell and took him to the area of present-day Detroit where he lived with the tribe for two years. He escaped in 1760 and joined British troops in the area, serving as a guide for the remainder of the Seven Years War.

After the war Campbell returned to Virginia and took up farming. He married Margaret Campbell in 1772. Campbell served on the first Fincastle County Court in 1773, opened a grist mill, and led militia forays in Southwest Virginia and along the Clinch and Holston Rivers in present-day Tennessee. In 1776 Fincastle County elected Campbell to the Second Continental Congress. When Washington County was carved out of Fincastle County, Campbell was appointed to the top militia post and served as county lieutenant and justice of the peace for the new county.

During the Revolutionary War Campbell led expeditions against Native Americans, the British, and their loyalist supporters. Campbell's militia unit joined those of John Sevier and Isaac Shelby in the victory at the battle of Kings Mountain, although Campbell did not fight. Convinced that the Cherokees represented a true threat, Campbell and Sevier combined forces to raid the principal Cherokee towns of Chota, Tellico, and Hiwassee.

Campbell and Sevier believed the frontier settlements should be admitted to the new republic as separate states but could not agree on the terms. Campbell wanted the new state, "Frankland," to include portions of western North Carolina, southwestern Virginia, and part of Kentucky. Sevier favored the name "Franklin" and limited the territorial boundary to western North Carolina. In 1784 delegates to a general convention at Jonesborough favored Sevier's smaller State of Franklin and petitioned the United States for admission as an independent state. North Carolina refused to cede the western lands and blocked the petition, while Virginia brought charges of treason and misconduct against Campbell. Although the treason charges were dismissed, Campbell was removed as justice of the peace in Washington County in 1786; he was reinstated in 1789. President George Washington later commissioned Campbell as an Indian agent in the Southwest Territory.

A Federalist in the new political world of the United States and in poor health, Campbell retired from service in 1799 as the Jeffersonian Republicans gained power. After retirement Campbell led a quiet life and began writing a history of the Revolutionary War in the Southwest, which he never completed. Campbell died at his home in Virginia in August 1811. He was buried in the Cumberland Gap, at the juncture of the three states that shaped his life.


Arthur Campbell (November 3, 1743 – August 8, 1811) was a soldier in the Indian Wars and the American Revolutionary War as well as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Campbell County, Tennessee was named after him.

He was a brother-in-law of General William Campbell. In the War of 1812 his sons Colonel James Campbell died in the service at Mobile, Alabama, and Colonel John B. Campbell fell at the Battle of Chippewa, where he commanded the right wing of the army under General Winfield Scott.

He was born in Augusta County, Virginia. When fifteen years old, he volunteered as a militiaman, to perform duty in protecting the frontier from incursions of the Indians. He was stationed in a fort on the Cowpasture river, near where the road crosses leading from Staunton to the Warm Springs.

While engaged in this service, he was captured by the Indians, who loaded him with their packs, and marched seven days into the forests with his captors, who were from Lakes Erie and Michigan, and were on their return. Campbell, at the end of seven days, was so exhausted that he was unable to travel, and was treated by the Indians with great severity. An old chief, taking compassion on him, protected him from further injury, and on reaching the Lakes adopted Campbell, in whose family the young man remained during his three years' captivity.

During this time, Campbell made himself familiar with the Indian language their manners and customs, and soon acquired the confidence of the old chief, who took him on all his hunting excursions. During these they rambled over Michigan and the northern parts of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

In 1759, a British force marched towards the Upper Lakes, of which the Indians were informed by their scouts. Campbell formed the bold resolution of escaping to this force. While out on one of their hunting excursions, Campbell left the Indians, and after a fortnight's tramp through the pathless wilds reached the British. The British commander was much interested in Campbell's account of his captivity and escape, and with his intelligence, and engaged him to pilot the army, which he did with success. Shortly after he returned to Augusta County, Virginia after an absence of more than three years. For his services in piloting the army he received a grant of 1,000 acres (4 km2) of land near Louisville, Kentucky. At the same time Campbell, along with Joseph Martin began acting as an agent to the Indians, reporting back to Virginia governors Benjamin Harrison V, Edmund Randolph and others on the state of Indian-colonial relations.

In 1772, his father, David Campbell, and family, removed to the " Royal Oak," on Holstein river. In 1775 he was one of the 13 signers of the Fincastle Resolutions, the earliest statement of armed resistance to the British Crown in the American Colonies and in 1776, Arthur Campbell was appointed major in the Fincastle militia, and elected to the General Assembly. He was also a member of the convention for forming the State Constitution. When Washington County, Virginia was formed he was commissioned colonel commandant of a regiment more than 30 years, and during the time he was in commission commanded several expeditions, particularly that against the Cherokees, in December 1780 and January 1781, with whom he made an important treaty.

After 35 years' residence at Holstein, he removed to Yellow Creek, Knox County, Kentucky the present site of Middlesboro, Kentucky.

He was tall, of a dignified air, an extensive reader and good talker. He married his cousin, Margaret Campbell, a sister of Gen. General William Campbell. He died from the effects of a cancer in Yellow Creek, leaving a widow, six sons and six daughters to mourn his loss.

When Middlesboro first attracted the attention of the business people of this country, and great developments were in progress at that point, the grave of Colonel Campbell was discovered in an out-of-the-way place, and his remains were removed by his Tennessee relatives, and the grave newly marked.


Col Arthur Campbell Son of David "White David" Campbell (08 Mar 1705 - 19 Oct 1790) and Mary (Hamilton) Campbell (06 Apr 1716 - 22 May 1801). Brother of Catherine Campbell McIannahan, Mary Campbell Lockhart, Martha Campbell, John Campbell, James Campbell, William Campbell, Margaret Campbell Campbell, Maj. David Campbell, Sarah "Sally" Campbell Howard, Robert Campbell, Patrick Campbell, and Ann Campbell Roane.

Husband of Margaret (Campbell) Campbell.

Father of William Campbell, Col. John B. Campbell, Charles Lewis Campbell, Arthur Lee Campbell, Capt. James Campbell, Elizabeth Campbell, Margaret Campbell, Mary Campbell Beard, Jane B. Campbell, Martha C. Campbell, Ann Augusta Campbell, and Unknown Campbell (Son).


Campbell County was named for Colonel Arthur Campbell, a soldier of the Revolutionary War and Indian Wars. He was born in 1742 in Augusta County, Virginia and was the son of David Campbell. At age fifteen, Campbell joined the Virginia Militia to help protect the Virginia Frontier. While stationed at a Dickerson's Fort on the Cowpasture River in Bath County, VA, he and several others were out picking plums when a group of Wyandotte Indians surprised the group. A skirmish followed, and Campbell was captured after being slightly wounded in the knee. He spent the next three years as a prisoner of the Indians and spent much of the time wandering through the Great Lakes territory. Eventually, an Indian chief took him under his protection and then took him to the French fort located near present-day Detroit. With his knowledge of the western frontier, he was eventually able to escape the Indians and make his way to a group of British soldiers more than 200 miles away. The British were on a campaign into Western Indian Territory and engaged Campbell as a guide. Campbell was later awarded a grant of 1000 acres near present-day Louisville, KY as reward for his services.

During his lifetime, he was involved in many aspects of military and political life. Some of which include:

January 1775 - He served as a member of the committee that drafted the Address of the Freeholders of Fincastle, VA.

1776 - He was chosen to represent Fincastle County, VA in the General Assembly.

January 1777 - He was appointed county lieutenant and commander in chief of the militia.

During the Revolutionary War, Campbell enlisted in the Virginia Militia and became commander of the 70th Regiment of the Virginia Militia.

During 1781, Campbell was one of the commissioners responsible for negotiating the Indian Treaties of 1781.

After the wars, Colonel Campbell settled on an estate on Yellow Creek, at the present site of Middlesboro, KY. He married his cousin, Martha Campbell. He lost two of his sons in the War of 1812: Captain James Campbell died at Mobile, AL and Colonel John B. Campbell fell at the Battle of the Chippewa. Colonel Campbell died August 8, 1811 at the age of seventy-three.






Monticello, Sepr 1, 97. [September 1, 1797]

Dear Sir,—

I have to acknolege the receipt of your favor of July 4. and to recognize in it the sentiments you have ever held, & worthy of the day on which it is dated. It is true that a party has risen up among us, or rather has come among us, which is endeavoring to separate us from all friendly connection with France, to unite our destinies with those of Great Britain, & to assimilate our government to theirs. Our lenity in permitting the return of the old tories, gave the first body to this party; they have been increased by large importations of British merchants and factors, by American merchants dealing on British capital, and by stock dealers & banking companies, who, by the aid of a paper system, are enriching themselves to the ruin of our country, and swaying the government by their possession of the printing presses, which their wealth commands, and by other means, not always honorable to the character of our countrymen. Hitherto, their influence & their system has been irresistible, and they have raised up an Executive power which is too strong for the legislature. But I flatter myself they have passed their zenith. The people, while these things were doing, were lulled into rest and security from a cause which no longer exists. No prepossessions now will shut their ears to truth. They begin to see to what port their leaders were steering during their slumbers, and there is yet time to haul in, if we can avoid a war with France. All can be done peaceably, by the people confiding their choice of Representatives & Senators to persons attached to republican government & the principles of 1776, not office-hunters, but farmers, whose interests are entirely agricultural. Such men are the true representatives of the great American interest, and are alone to be relied on for expressing the proper American sentiments. We owe gratitude to France, justice to England, good will to all, and subservience to none. All this must be brought about by the people, using their elective rights with prudence & self-possession, and not suffering themselves to be duped by treacherous emissaries. It was by the sober sense of our citizens that we were safely and steadily conducted from monarchy to republicanism, and it is by the same agency alone we can be kept from falling back. I am happy in this occasion of reviving the memory of old things, and of assuring you of the continuance of the esteem & respect of, dear Sir, your friend and servant.


Name: Arthur Campbell


Birth Date: 3 Nov 1743

Death Date: 8 Aug 1811

Cemetery: Hensleys Cemetery

Cemetery Address: Rte 3 Middlesboro, KY 40965

Source Information:

National Cemetery Administration. U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: National Cemetery Administration. Nationwide Gravesite Locator


Arthur Campbell was my 1st cousin 7 times removed 3 different ways, through the Anderson, Campbell, and Skillern families.


The Massacre of Joseph Johnson's Family Massacre of Joseph Johnson's FamilyBy Emory L. Hamilton From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, page 178-180. John Anderson writing to Lt. Col. Arthur Campbell, regarding the killing of Joseph Johnson's family: (1) Blockhouse, May ye 17th, 1789Dear Sir: I wrote you a few days ago, wherein I informed you respecting Mr. Wallen's being driven from home. Wallen lived at the mouth of Stock Creek. I seen (sic) a certain Mr. Joseph Johnson a few hours since, who informed me that on the 15th instant he had his family, which consisted of his wife and eleven children, all killed and taken, except two. He found his wife and youngest child about three quarters of a mile from his house. He lived on Clinch, where the path crossed the same between here and Rye Cove. They burnt his house, and he found the bones of one of his children in the ashes. The others he allows they took prisoner. I am fully persuaded from the many and late hostilities committed in that quarter that the inhabitants will move off if they don't get some assistance shortly. I am surprised to think we guarded our frontiers in the time of the late war, when we were attacked on both sides, and now can get no help. I am doubtful the government has false representatives, or else none at all. You may depend the people in our situation, in this quarter, are much alarmed by the many and late acts committed. Please write me the first opportunity. I am your affectionately, John Anderson Lt. Col. Arthur Campbell, writing to Governor Randolph, on July 20, 1789, relative to the Indian depredations on the frontier, states that sometime ago I received the enclosed. The enclosed being a letter to Campbell from Alexander Barnett, County Lieutenant of Russell Co., VA. (2) as follows: Russell, May 20, 1789.Sir: On Friday last, the Indians fell on the family of Joseph Johnson in the Rye Cove settlement, it being twelve in number, of which but three in number, himself and two sons escaped. His wife and one child was found about one quarter of a mile from the house, killed and scalped, the bones of one child burned in the house, and the others I have not been informed whether killed or taken. After reporting the incidents of the Johnson family, Barnett goes on to make a plea for assistance similar to that made by John Anderson, although lacking the bitterness of Anderson's letter, he begs: Attempts have been made by voluntary enlistment to raise the number of fifty men in our county, but to no purpose, it appears they cannot be got. I request you in behalf of our county to furnish us with the number of fifty men and their proportion of officers, to be continued on duty until the 1st of September, or longer, if needed, and provisions to supply until that time. Present necessity requires part for the Rye Cove and the remainder in Powell's Valley. The two Carter boys, Elijah and Morgan, sons of Thomas Carter, had been taken out of Rye Cove and had been restored to their parents through the friendly offices of Governor Simcoe of South Carolina, and William Fatham in a letter to the Governor of Virginia, under date of July 26, 1793, asks that an effort be made to restore the Johnson children, and furnished the Governor with the following facts concerning them. (3) Joseph Johnson, living now upon Flat Lick (Duffield area), had his wife and three children killed on May 15, 1789, and five others taken by the Indians on the road leading to the Flour Ford, near the Rye Cove on Clinch. [1} Isabel, now 21 years old; [2] Matthew, now 15; [3] Elizabeth, now 13 years; [4] Rebecca, now 10; [5] Joseph, now 8 years old. Isabel was carried by the Cherokees near to the Guyandot Nation, where she was sold and brought back to the Cherokee nation, and was there purchased and sent to her father. Elizabeth is now in the possession of the Otter Lifter (a warrior of that name near John Meton's, a trader on Cheakonskie in the Cherokees). The other three are said to be in the Guyandot Nation, together with Mary Ann and Elizabeth Carter, and a boy called Cooper, who were taken from the neighborhood. We know according to the letter of William Fatham, that one of the Johnson children, Isabel, was returned to her father, but the records are silent as to the fate of the others, as well as the two Carter girls, and Cooper. It might be reasonable to assume that they were eventually returned as the whereabouts of all seemed to be fairly well known. Mary Ann and Elizabeth Carter were the daughters of Joseph Carter of Rye Cove, and Cooper was a slave boy belonging to some of the Carters. He was probably the same who was taken out of Rye Cove with Morgan and Elijah, the sons of Thomas Carter. (1) Virginia State Papers, Vol. IV, page 442.(2) Virginia State Papers, Vol. V, page 4-5.(3) Virginia State Papers, Vol. VI, pages 463-4.

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Arthur Campbell, Indian Scout's Timeline

November 3, 1743
Augusta, VA, United States
June 27, 1774
Augusta, Virginia, United States
June 27, 1774
Montgomery, Virginia, USA
Virginia, USA
February 5, 1776
Virginia, United States