George Washington Campbell: Jackson's Man in the East
George Washington Campbell became Andrew Jackson's ally in 1803 and remained a friend and supporter of the general throughout his life. Their lives were similar in several respects. Campbell was born in 1770, only three years Jackson's junior and, like Jackson, had brothers who died fighting in the Revolution. They both grew up in the same area of North Carolina, and as young lawyers they both crossed the mountains with ambition to become prosperous, understanding clearly that the way to wealth was to buy land cheap and sell it dear. 1 All of the group under study here shared dreams of seeking their fortune and attaining gentry status in a frontier world. All realized that dream.
Campbell's family came from the Scottish lowlands. On coming to America they settled in North Carolina. Like some of the others under study here he could claim the heritage of a family whose men fought and died for the cause of freedom from Britain. As was the case with some of the others, Campbell started his adult life with the advantage of some family means, but his family did not have the wealth or status of the gentry. He had some education, at least enough to qualify to become a lawyer; he was a man who negotiated the buying and selling of land for others as well for himself. Also like the others, Campbell was brought up with a strong sense of honor and a deep awareness that one must establish and preserve a reputation for good character. As we have noted, the