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Campbell-Mumford papers

Call Number

MS 98


1719-1980 (bulk, 1793-1892), inclusive



10 Linear feet (26 boxes)

Language of Materials

The documents in this collection are in English.


Most of the material in the Campbell-Mumford Papers focuses on William W. Campbell, his son, Douglas Campbell 1st, or Benjamin M. Mumford. Key topics include Mumford's business as an insurance broker, William Campbell's work as a judge and historian, and Douglas Campbell 1st's work as an historian. Much material focuses discretely on the Campbell family or discretely on the Mumford family; only with the marriage of Harriet Bowers Mumford Paige and Douglas Campbell 1st in 1865 were the two families intimately linked.

Biographical Note

Born in Ireland in 1690, James Campbell immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1728, moved briefly to Londonderry, New Hampshire, in 1735, and finally settled in Cherry Valley, New York, in 1741. Marrying Sarah Thompson (1694-ca. 1773), he remained in Cherry Valley until his 1770 death; their union produced Samuel Campbell, who was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, in 1738. Samuel served in the French and Indian War and ultimately was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1772. Active in the Revolutionary War as a member of the Tryon County Committee of Safety, he was involved in the so-called "Cherry Valley Massacre" in 1778 (a bloody skirmish between colonists and Native American and British forces), was steadily promoted through the ranks, ultimately achieving the rank of Colonel, and served in the state legislature after the war until his death. Having married Jane Cannon in 1768, Samuel sired a son, James S. Campbell, in 1772; in turn, James married Sarah Elderkin of Windham, Connecticut, in 1800. Along with his mother, his sister, and his brothers, James was held captive by Native Americans as a result of the Cherry Valley Massacre of 1778; they were exchanged after two years of captivity. Commissioned Cornet of Horse in 1798, James S. Campbell served as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Otsego County, New York. He inherited his father's property in 1824 and lived there until his death in 1870.

The marriage of James S. Campbell and Sarah Elderkin produced William W. Campbell in 1806. William attended Union College, practiced law, and served in Congress. Moreover, he was Judge of the Superior Court in New York City (1843-1855), was Justice of the Supreme Court in New York City (1857-1865), and was Judge of the Court of Appeals (1865). Notwithstanding his legal commitments, he authored The Annals of Tryon County, Life of DeWitt Clinton, Life of Mrs. Grant, and a work on Robin Hood and Captain Kidd. He visited Scotland when Queen Victoria first visited Inveraray Castle in 1847, inherited his father's estate at Cherry Valley in 1870, and died in 1881. His 1865 marriage produced sons Cleaveland and Douglas Campbell 1st.

Douglas Campbell 1st was born in Cooperstown in 1840 and was graduated from Union College in 1860 and from Harvard Law School in 1865. Serving in the Civil War as Captain and Brevet Major in the 121st New York Volunteers, Douglas subsequently married Harriet Bowers Paige, daughter of Alonzo C. Paige and Harriet Bowers Mumford. An eminent lawyer and amateur historian, Campbell authored, most notably, The Puritan in Holland, England, and America. He inherited the estate at Cherry Valley in 1881 and died in 1893, leaving four children, William A. Campbell, Harriet Mumford Campbell Greene, Maria Starkweather Campbell Whitehead, and Douglas Campbell 2nd, and bequeathing the family estate to William and Douglas 2nd. Douglas 1st's older brother Cleaveland, meanwhile, served as Colonel of the 23rd U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War and died of wounds from Petersburg in 1865. Similarly, Douglas 1st's younger brother, Lewis, served as Captain in the 152nd U.S. Volunteers and was a prisoner of war for two years; he, too, died of war-related wounds.

By contrast, the Mumford family came to the American colonies in the early seventeenth century under the aegis of Captain John Smith. Thomas Mumford's great-great-great-great-grandson, Benjamin Maverick Mumford (1772-1843), was an insurance broker working in New York who married Harriet Bowers (1782-1868) in 1802. Their daughter, Harriet Bowers Mumford, married Alonzo C. Paige; the couple had a daughter, Harriet Bowers Paige, who went on to marry Douglas Campbell 1st, thereby bringing the families together.


The collection is organized in six series:

Series I. Campbell Family
Series II. Mumford Family
Series III. Bowers, Myer, Paige Families
Series IV. Printed Materials
Series V. Non-Family Materials
Series VI. 1980 Supplement

Scope and Contents

The Campbell-Mumford Papers focuses on the Campbell family (especially William W. Campbell and his son, Douglas Campbell 1st) or the Mumford family (especially Benjamin M. Mumford). Relatively little material focuses on the merger and subsequent history of the families once they were joined by the marriage of Harriet Bowers Mumford Paige and Douglas Campbell 1st. Types of material include court minutes, correspondence, published works, speeches, clippings, and business materials. Series are arranged by individual or by type of material and chronologically or alphabetically by subject therein. Most relevant materials include slave bills of sale and receipts, materials on the creation of the New York Soldiers' Home (for Civil War veterans), materials about family members' roles in the Civil War, and materials on the "Cherry Valley Massacre" of 1778, including subsequent debates not only over what happened but also over how historians have portrayed the events and the participants.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Campbell-Mumford Papers, MS 98, The New-York Historical Society.

Location of Materials

Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

Collection processed by

Processed by Alex Poole

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 15:46:32 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from campbellmumford.xml


New-York Historical Society
New-York Historical Society
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New York, NY 10024