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Phillip Pitt Campbell

Politician. Republican. Born: April 25, 1862, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Died: May 26, 1941, Washington, D.C. Served in U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd District: March 4, 1903, to March 3, 1923.

Born on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, on April 25, 1862, the Campbell family—parents, four sons and a daughter—moved to Kansas via Boston and Illinois in 1867. They took up farming in Neosho County near the town of Walnut where Phil Campbell spent his youth. He attended local schools and then went to Baldwin, graduating from Baker University in 1888. Campbell was admitted to the bar the following year and soon gained quite a reputation for oratory. First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican in 1902, Campbell spent the next twenty years representing the people of southeast Kansas. Congressman Campbell spoke out forcefully against "Jim Crow," and as a result was praised in the pages of the Plaindealer, March 6, 1908, which added, editorially, "Kansas has never had a better set of representatives in either house and we say keep them there, but if a time comes when nothing will suit her but a change in the Senate, Phil. Campbell, of Pittsburg, is the man." Years later the congressman clashed with Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard William J. Simmons. Although he rose to a leadership position in the Congress, Campbell was unable to capture the nomination for himself in 1922. He subsequently left elective politics, established a law office in Washington, D.C., and practiced there until his death on May 26, 1941.

Entry: Campbell, Phillip Pitt

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: May 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.