A Reference Resource
George W. Campbell (1814–1814): Secretary of the Treasury
George Campbell was born in Sutherlandshire, Scotland, on February 9, 1769, and graduated from the College of New Jersey (Princeton University). Campbell began his political career speaking for Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1803 to 1809, serving additionally as chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means during his final term.
Upon returning to Tennessee in 1809, Campbell made use of his law education to serve as judge on the state Supreme Court of Errors and Appeals until 1811. He returned to legislative duty in 1811 as a U.S. senator, serving until 1814.
In 1814, he became secretary of the treasury by appointment of President James Madison, but he resigned later that year due to poor health. Campbell returned to the Senate in 1815, and he remained there through 1818, serving for one term as chairman of the Committee on Finance. Upon resigning from Congress, Campbell accepted an offer from President Madison in 1818 to become U.S. minister to Russia, and remained overseas until 1821.
After returning to the United States, Campbell retired from politics permanently, with the exception of five years on the French Spoliation Claims Commission (1831-1835). In 1835, he resumed the law practice he had given up in 1802 before joining Congress, a practice he continued until his death on February 17, 1848, in Nashville, Tennessee.