Next day came through a rough country with a miserable population of the lowest order. Country is limestone. Some stone coal. Water bad from wells.Encamped at Markells,, where our best horse died suddenly, the effect of a hard drive, after a hearty dinner of green corn. Hard luck. Roads very hilly.THIS IS THE JOURNAL OF WILLIAM CAMPBELL (1805-1849) LEADING several FAMILIES FROM LEXINGTON, IN ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA TO ST. CHARLES COUNTY MISSOURI, WRITTEN IN 1829, 25 OF WHICH ARE ENSLAVED, and AMONG THEM IS ARCHER ALEXANDER, BORN IN 1806, IN ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA THIS JOURNAL IS LOCATED IN THE COLLECTIONS OF THE LEYBURN LIBRARY, SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND ARCHIVES, LOCATED AT THE WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY, IN LEXINGTON, VIRGINIA, AND FOR WHICH WE ARE DEEPLY INDEBTED TO LISA MCCOWN. EDITOR IS DORRIS KEEVEN-FRANKE.
The caravan was facing several difficulties now, with bad roads, that are rocky. Then their best horse dies from eating green corn. Things are not going well for the group, that left Lexington, Virginia back on August 20. William M. Campbell seems to feel the local population are not his most welcoming either.
William Campbell was born the 19th of June 1805, one of ten children of Samuel Legrand Campbell and Sally Reid Alexander. His brother Charles Fenelon Campbell had accompanied them until Ripley, Ohio. His sister Sophie Alexander Campbell, had married Dr. Samuel McCluer, and is part of the caravan with her six children, Jeanette, Samuel, John (who was called Mo), Archibald, Susan, and baby Sallie, who had just been born in May. William is unmarried.
William is unmarried. He attended what would become Washington and Lee University where his father was the second President. A recent graduate, he hoped to establish a lucrative law practice in St. Charles County. Politically, he was a member of the popular Whig Party. He would serve as a State Representative in not only in St. Charles County, but St. Louis County as well. In 1844, he would be founder of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Missouri. In St. Charles, in would be owner of the St. Charles Clarion Newspaper. When he moved to St. Louis he would be owner of the St. Louis New Era Newspaper, where he reported on the issues of slavery. He was a friend of the abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy, another Newspaper Editor who would be killed by a mob in Alton, Illinois in 1837. By 1838, Campbell had moved to St. Louis, where he died on December 30, 1849 and was buried in the City Cemetery, where other St. Louis notables were buried, near what we refer to as the “old cathedral” today.
Archer Alexander was a favorite of William Campbell, and was trusted to manage the other enslaved of the caravan.