Tuesday, April 04, 2017

George W. Campbell and His Letter to Mrs. Hubbard

George W. Campbell was born in the state of New York to David and Mary Jones Todd Campbell on January 12, 1817. In the early 1820s he moved with his parents to Sandusky, Ohio, where his father published the Sandusky Clarion. The Clarion was the first newspaper published in the Firelands area, and was the predecessor of the Sandusky Register. Mr. Campbell worked with his father in the publishing business in Sandusky, until he relocated to Delaware, Ohio in 1849. In Delaware, he worked in the mercantile business. Later he devoted his pursuits to the propagation of a wide variety of fruits, and he became well known as a horticulturist. Mr. Campbell was best known for his promotion of the Delaware grape. The popular Delaware grape was known for its hardiness, productivity, and unsurpassed flavor and quality. 

George W. Campbell died on July 15, 1898 and was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Delaware County, Ohio. He was survived by his widow, the former Elizabeth Little. He had been president of the Ohio Horticultural Society and was appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes as United States Commissioner to the Paris Exposition of 1878.  In 2002 an Ohio historic marker was dedicated at the former Campbell home, now the Delaware County Cultural Arts Center.

A letter from George W. Campbell to Mrs. Jennie West Hubbard is housed at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center. Mrs. Hubbard was working on a project to collect biographical information about women who resided in the Western Reserve before 1850. She was hoping that her relative, Mr. Campbell, could tell her some of the birth and death dates of their mutual female relatives. It turns out that he did not recall the dates exactly, but he did remember with fondness the work that several Sandusky ladies did when creating a banner for the visit of William Henry Harrison to Sandusky. The letter and transcription are below.

Delaware, O., June 3, 1896
My dear Jennie:
            I am really ashamed of myself for allowing your letter of last March to remain so long unanswered, asking for information about the pioneer women of the Western Reserve; and I now regret that I am unable to give you so little of interest. I have somewhere, a book of records of my father’s family; but it has been mislaid, and I have been unable to find it; but I am not certain that it contains much. I have filled out the blank record of names you sent me, as far as I can. I have not the date of Aunt Eleanor’s birth or death – but I think they are recorded on her headstone in the cemetery of Sandusky. Of Wealthy’s record, I have only the state of her marriage to brother Henry.
            As to that flag, I am sorry my memory is so indistinct. I feel certain that Aunt Eleanor did work on a flag, and I think I saw the design; but cannot recall much about it. I was under the impression that it was modeled in whole or in part from the inclosed picture which I drew for the heading of a little campaign paper printed in the days of “Tippecanoe and Tyler too,” and had engraved at Buffalo by Mr. J.W. Orr. If you find the design on the flag is the same, or substantially so, you may be pretty sure that it is the same upon which Aunt Eleanor and other ladies worked. When I come to Sandusky, as I hope to do sometime this season I will investigate it and I think the sight of the flag will enable me to mark the names on the printed list which enclose also. When I am in Sandusky, perhaps I may be able to give you some items of interest with your assistance in prompting me as to what you would like to have.
            We are in health about as usual. Weather has been pleasant generally, with play of rain and sunshine; and lately cool, but without frost. Everything sure now must propicous for a fruitful answer, if we are not visited by storms or hail or cyclones. I sincerely hope you and your family and all the connections are well and happy, and that you and your mother – my sweet little Auntie had a delightful visit at Cincinnati. With kindred love from both, at this end of the line. I am affectionately and truly yours.
                                                            George W. Campbell

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