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This Day in Georgia History

April 30, 1861

John Archibald Campbell Resigned from the U.S. Supreme Court to Serve Confederacy

John Archibald Campbell resigned from the U.S. Supreme Court to serve the Confederacy as Assistant Secretary of War. Born June 24, 1811 near Washington, Georgia, Campbell attended the University of Georgia, graduating at an early age. Campbell later practiced law in Alabama. In 1853, President Franklin Pierce appointed Campbell to the U.S. Supreme Court, where four years later he sided with the majority decision in the Dred Scott case, adding his own concurring opinion in the important case. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Campbell resigned from the high court and became Assistant Secretary of War for the Confederacy. Imprisoned briefly after the war, Campbell was released by President Andrew Johnson. Afterwards, Campbell practiced law in New Orleans until his death in 1889.

To view a John Archibald Campbell Civil War letter, see the Digital Library of Georgia.