1779 - 1859
David Campbell was born on August 2, 1779 at Royal
Oak (now Smyth County) and grew up at Hallis Bottom in Washington
County. His education was limited to what a frontier settlement
could provide. At age 15, he was appointed ensign in Captain
John Davis' company of militia. He later studied law and was
licensed, but never practiced.
In 1802, he was appointed Deputy
Clerk of Washington County Court. He served until 1812, when
he was commissioned a Major in the U.S. Army's 12th Regiment
of Infantry. His distinguished military service led to his appointment
as General of the 3rd Brigade of the Virginia Militia in 1815.
In 1824, he was elected Clerk of the Court for Washington County.
He remained Clerk until 1837, when he was elected Clerk of the
Court for Washington County. He remained Clerk until 1837, when
he was elected Governor. Governor Campbell, in his first message
to the General Assembly, proposed the establishment of a common,
or public, school system.