Campbell, 1834

Nov. 18, 2020

Campbell, 1834

The cutter Campbell was named for George Washington Campbell, a native of Scotland, who served as a Secretary of the Treasury under President James Madison.  He was born in 1769 and moved with his family to North Carolina in 1772.  Campbell graduated from Princeton in 1794 and won election to Congress in 1802.  He remained in Congress until 1809, serving as the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee during his last term.  He was chosen as a senator for Tennessee in 1811, but resigned in 1814 upon being appointed as the Secretary of the Treasury in 1814 by President James Madison.  He was the first cabinet member from a region west of the Appalachian Mountains.  Campbell resigned after only eight months in office due to problems with raising finances for the war effort during the War of 1812, particularly after the British burned Washington.  He returned to the Senate in 1815 and served until April 1818, when he was appointed Minister to Russia.  He returned to the United States in July, 1820, and in 1831 was a member of the French Claims Commission.  He died in Nashville, Tennessee, on 17 February 1848.


Builder: Mr. Leonard, Oxford, Maryland

Dates of Service: 1834-1839

Disposition: Sold

Displacement: 40 tons

Length: N/A

Beam: N/A

Draft: N/A

Propulsion: Sail

Machinery: None

Complement: N/A

Armament: 2 x 6-pounders or 2 x 12-pounders.

Cutter History:

The second Revenue cutter to bear the name Campbell was purchased from a Mr. Leonard of Oxford, Maryland by Revenue Lieutenant John C. Jones.  He paid an authorized price of $1,400 for her and spent another $1,400 to fit her out.  She was first sent to New Bern, North Carolina and was then sent to New Orleans in 1835, to replace the cutter Dallas.

She reported for duty with the "naval authorities" in Florida on 24 October 1837 during the Seminole wars.  She was ordered to patrol the waters off eastern Florida, and saw considerable action, including sending armed landing parties ashore.  On 18 September 1838 her commanding officer, Lieutenant N. L. Coste, dispatched a landing party, in the cutter's boats, to the wreck of the brig Alney, after first hearing reports of up to four vessels ashore somewhere north of Key Tabana and only finding the Alney.  The landing party engaged the Seminoles who had taken control of the wreck and drove them off, killing three without loss to themselves.  Coste's men ambushed another party of Seminoles on 28 September 1838 near Bear Cut Inlet after seeing their campfires on shore, killing three and seizing two canoes.  

Coste sent armed landing parties ashore nearly every night while on patrol although, other than the above incidents, contacting the enemy.  The Campbell's assignment ended when she was ordered on 18 April 1839 after Coste reported the need for extensive repairs.

The Collector at Baltimore received authorization to sell her on 26 June 1839.


Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).