Robert Campbell

February 12, 1804 - October 16, 1879

Campbell, Robert, fur trader (Feb. 12, 1804-Oct. 16, 1879). Born at Aughalane, Ulster, he reached the United States c. 1822 and St. Louis in 1824. Troubles with tuberculosis, he left for the Rocky Mountains with a Jedediah Smith party late in 1825, wintering among the Pawnees and reaching the Green River in mid-1826. He became an upper Rockies trapper, in 1827 leading a party into the Flathead country, weathering skirmishes with Blackfeet, and in 1828 trapping the Crow territory. He returned to St. Louis in 1829 and visited Ireland from 1830-1831. Campbell joined William Sublette in 1832 for a trading venture to the Rockies, took part in the Pierre's Hole battle, leaving one of the best accounts of it. He formally joined Sublette in a partnership, the two visiting the east to gather resources. In 1833 Campbell took supplies to Green River, continuing to man posts or transport supplies and engage in trading for several years. In 1841 he was married in the east. Campbell attended the Fort Laramie treaty gathering in 1851 and again in 1870. In the Mexican War he helped form a regiment which he commanded, though it saw no action. He prospered as a St. Louis merchant until his death at St. Louis. Campbell had many good qualities, was generally respected and liked; his influence was enduring and beneficial.