Presidential Cabinet Secretary. Admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1833, he served on the Philadelphia School Board and as a Judge on the Court of Common Pleas. He ran unsuccessfully for the state Supreme Court in 1850, with anti-Catholic sentiment making him the only Democrat to lose a statewide race that year. Appointed state Attorney General by the new Democratic Governor William Bigler, he served until 1853. During the 1852 United States Presidential race, he campaigned extensively for the election of Franklin Pierce in and played a key role in attracting Catholic voters to the Democratic candidate. President Pierce then appointed him United States Postmaster General. He served until the end of Pierce's term in 1857. In 1860 Campbell unsuccessfully promoted the Presidential "unity" ticket of former Treasury Secretary James Guthrie and New York Governor Horatio Seymour in an attempt to prevent the Civil War. In 1863 he was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for United States Senator. He continued to practice law almost until his death and was a noted civic activist, serving on several city boards and commissions.
Bio by: Bill McKern
John M. Campbell