|Strangers to Us All||Lawyers and Poetry|
John Preston Campbell
John Preston Campbell was born in Boston, Massachusetts and practiced law in Abilene, Kansas. [Thos. W. Herringshaw (ed.), Local and National Poets of America 265 (Chicago: American Publishers' Association, 1890)]
"John P. Campbell, son of John and Nancy J. (Malin) Campbell, was born in Boston, Mass., on the 8th day of April, 1842. His parents were of Scotch descent. On his father's side he is descended from the Campbells of Clyde, having an ancestry of rank in the Scottish Highlands. On his mother's side also his ancestors attained high distinction.
[Campbell] was brought up in the family of Jeremiah Russell Smith, father of William Russell Smith, a noted musician in South Medfield, Mass. He attended the South Medfield and Walpole schools, previously going to schools in Boston.
In the War of the Rebellion he enlisted as a private in Battery H, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, Sept. 19, 1862, and was mustered in Oct. 14, 1862. He was subsequently promoted to corporal. That he served with credit and honor in his battery is attested by his being wounded severely in hand, shoulder, and foot, in action near Petersburg, Va., April 2, 1865. He was corporal of the right piece, of the right section of his battery in that engagement. He was mustered out of service June 28, 1865.
Immediately upon his return from the army he went West, and was engaged in teaching in schools, etc. He received his college education in Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa. After leaving college he read law under Judge Alonzo Converse, and was admitted to the bar in Iowa. He went to Abilene, Kansas, in the year 1876, where he located in the practice of law, and where he has since resided. He there established the 'J. P. Campbell Collection Agency', at the head of which he has continued since its formation. His practice has been in all courts, and has been a successful and profitable one. He is the author of several literary publications, brought out by some of the west known publishing houses in the country.
He is also well known as a lecturer, and has met with much success in that direction. His lectures on 'What is Life?' 'Courtship, Marriage, Divorce', 'A View of Heaven, from the Poet's Standpoint', and 'The Soldier', have been spoken of in the highest terms, and been received with universal favor. Of the author of these lectures this has been said:
'John Preston Campbell has, perhaps, the most complete choicely selected law and literary library in the State of Kansas, and being greatly attached to books, of his more matured and written deliberations much that is entertaining, ennobling and beneficial may be expected. An hour was spent in his rooms examining his books and chatting with one of the most genial converstationalists we had ever met.'
He has always been in warm sympathy with his comrades-in-arms, the 'boys who wore the blue' in the trying days of the Rebellion, and is an honored member of Post No. 63, Department of Kansas, Grand Army of the Republic." [Earl Fenner, The History of Battery H--First Regiment RI Light Artillery in the War to Preserve the Union 1861-1865 132-133 (Providence, Rhode Island: Snow & Farnham, Printers, 1894)] [online text]
John Preston Campbell, The Poetical Words of John Preston Campbell (Topeka, Kansas: Geo. W. Crane & Co., printers and binders, 1885)
__________________, Queen Sylva and Other Poems (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1886)
__________________, The Summerless Sea, and Other Poems (Philadelphia: J.b. Lippincott Co., printers, 1888) [online text]
__________________, The Land of Sun and Song (Topeka, Kansas: G.W. Crane Pub. Co., 1888)
__________________, Republica: A National Poem (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., printers, 1891)
__________________, My Mate Immortal (New York: The Argyle Press, 1890)
John Preston Campbell, Merl of Medevon, and Other Prose Writings (Chicago: Rand, McNally & Co., 1888)