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Josiah A.P. Campbell

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Josiah A.P. Campbell
Deputy from Mississippi
to the Provisional Congress
of the Confederate States
In office
February 4, 1861 – February 17, 1862
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court
In office
Succeeded byAlbert H. Whitfield
Associate Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court
In office
Preceded byJonathan Tarbell
Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives
In office
President pro tempore of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States
In office
In office
Personal details
Josiah Abigail Patterson Campbell

(1830-03-02)March 2, 1830
Lancaster District, South Carolina, U.S.
DiedJanuary 10, 1917(1917-01-10) (aged 86)
Hinds County, Mississippi, U.S.
Resting placeGreenwood Cemetery,
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
SpouseEugenia Nash
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States
Branch/service Confederate States Army
Years of service1861–1865
Rank Colonel
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Josiah Abigail Patterson Campbell (March 2, 1830 – January 10, 1917)[1] was an American politician and lawyer who served as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mississippi, and was previously a Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives and Deputy from Mississippi to the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1862.



Josiah Abigail Patterson Campbell was born in Lancaster District, South Carolina, the son of a Presbyterian minister and the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner.[2] His family was of Scottish descent.[1]

He learned to read at four years old.[3] He was educated at Davidson College in North Carolina, thereafter moving to Madison County, Mississippi at the age of fifteen.[3][4]

He was admitted to the bar at Kosciusko, Mississippi on June 12, 1847, at the age of seventeen, making him the youngest lawyer in Mississippi,[5] where he opened a law office and "conducted a large and profitable practice".[4] He was elected to the state legislature in 1851 and 1859. He was the Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1859 to 1860.[6]

He was a President pro tempore of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States for two days in 1861 and again for one day in 1862[citation needed], becoming one of the original signers of the Confederate Constitution,[3][7] and attained the rank of Lieutenant colonel in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, serving in the Mississippi 40th Infantry Regiment, where he was slightly wounded at the Second Battle of Corinth.[4]

After the war, he was elected circuit judge for the Fifth Circuit and served until 1868, when he was forced out of office for not swearing allegiance to the United States.[2][5] In 1870, he was one of the commissioners who framed the code of 1871, and in 1879, he similarly worked on the code of 1880. In 1876, he became one of the chief organizers of the Mississippi Plan, which ended the era of Republican rule in Mississippi. He was appointed to a seat on the Supreme Court of Mississippi vacated by the resignation of Jonathan Tarbell in 1876, and served as Chief Justice from 1891 to 1894. He became one of the drafters of the 1890 Mississippi Constitution, which enforced legal white supremacy.[5] In 1895, he declined re-appointment, and returned to private practice.[4] He was succeeded on the court by Albert H. Whitfield.[8]

Campbell was active in Confederate veterans' organizations before official formation of the United Confederate Veterans club. In 1892, for example, about eighteen months after the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 went into effect, he gave a lengthy speech at the state capitol to a group of Confederate veterans. A copy of that nearly 8,000-word speech appeared in a number of newspapers, including the Jackson Clarion, dated July 14, 1892. As Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, he made blatantly racist statements to Confederate veterans assembled in Jackson for a reunion. He informed his audience that African Americans would forever remain as an "inferior race" and would forever be dominated by whites since it was God's plan to establish white supremacy. He characterized federal power as "coercive" and trampling upon the rights of white citizens by granting citizenship to African Americans. He also considered the federal government as interference with local control and the rights of states to freely discriminate against people.[9]

Based on family oral history, James Meredith, the first Black student at the University of Mississippi[10] maintained that Campbell was his great-grandfather,[11][2][12] and Campbell was also the "father of White supremacy in Mississippi".[5] Campbell was a supporter of legal equality of court testimony between races, but insisted throughout his career that obstacles for voting be carefully guarded so that "radical misrule" did not overtake the state's system of government.[13]

Campbell died on January 10, 1917, aged 86, in Canton, Mississippi, and lay in state at the Mississippi Capitol Rotunda as per Governor Bilbo's request. At the time of his death, he was the last living member of the first Confederate Congress and last living signer of the Confederate Constitution.[14] He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery.[15]


  1. ^ a b Davis, Samuel Marion (2017). "J.A.P. Campbell: Lawyer, Statesman, and Judge". Mississippi Law Journal. 86: 777.
  2. ^ a b c McGee, Meredith Coleman (2013). James Meredith: Warrior And The America That Created Him. Praeger. p. 5. ISBN 978-0313397394.
  3. ^ a b c r2WPadmin. "Campbell, J. A. P." Mississippi Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 24, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b c d Thomas H. Somerville, "A Sketch of the Supreme Court of Mississippi", in Horace W. Fuller, ed.,The Green Bag, Vol. XI (1899), p. 513.
  5. ^ a b c d Meredith, James (2012). A Mission from God: A Memoir and Challenge for America. Simon and Schuster. p. 25. ISBN 978-1451674729.
  6. ^ Rowland, Dunbar (1907). Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form. Southern Historical Publishing Association. p. 84.
  7. ^ "Avalon Project - Constitution of the Confederate States; March 11, 1861". avalon.law.yale.edu. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  8. ^ Leslie Southwick, Mississippi Supreme Court Elections: A Historical Perspective 1916-1996, 18 Miss. C. L. Rev. 115 (1997-1998).
  9. ^ Josiah A.P. Campbell, "A Matchless Oration", Jackson Clarion, July 14, 1892, pp. 1, 5.
  10. ^ MonkEL (September 28, 2012). "September 30, 1962: James Meredith & the University of Mississippi". npg.si.edu. Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  11. ^ Schaefer, Ward. "James Meredith's Sister Speaks From Obama-Land". www.jacksonfreepress.com. Retrieved October 23, 2022.
  12. ^ Lawton, Jack (February 28, 2017). "Exclusive: James Meredith Shares Most Important Opinion Piece He Has Ever Written". HottyToddy. Retrieved October 24, 2022.
  13. ^ Ashford, Evan Howard (2022). Mississippi Zion: The Struggle for Liberation in Attala County, 1865–1915. University Press of Mississippi. p. 17. ISBN 9781496839725.
  14. ^ "Clipped From Jackson Daily News". Jackson Daily News. January 11, 1917. p. 2. Retrieved October 24, 2022.
  15. ^ Allardice, Bruce (2008). Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register. University of Missouri Press. p. 88. ISBN 9780826266484.
Political offices
Preceded by
New constituency
Deputy from Mississippi to the
Provisional Congress of the Confederate States

Succeeded by
Constituency abolished