George W. Campbell, was a banker and former slave owner. He joined with Lewis Adams to create the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute.
He was also instrumental in bringing Booker T. Washington to Tuskegee. His home was across the street from Butler Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, where the Shanty was located, in which Tuskegee Institute began holding classes.
Here is an excerpt from the Washington Papers on Campbell:
The founding date was July 4, 1881, authorized by Alabama House Bill 165.
A $2,000 appropriation, for teachers' salaries, was authorized by the legislation.
Lewis Adams, Thomas Dryer, and M. B. Swanson formed the board of commissioners to get the school organized.
George Campbell Jr., a former slave owner, and Lewis Adams, a former enslaved African tinsmith and community leader, should be remembered for their roles in the founding of the University.
George W. Campbell, senior member of the firm of Campbell & Wright, bankers and merchants of Tuskegee, Macon county, Ala., and the oldest firm in the state, was born in Montgomery county, Ala., in 1828, a son of Moses and Macy (Gatlin) Campbell, natives of Mecklenburg, N. C., and Warren county, Ga. He located in Tuskegee in 1837, and died in 1848 at the
age of 77 years. George W. Campbell , the only child born to his parents, was educated at Tuskegee where, at the early age of 14 years, in 1843, he began his business career as a clerk, and so continued until 1849, when he engaged in merchandising on his own account. In 1852, the firm of Campbell & Wright was formed, and had proven to be one of the most successful in the state.
George W. Campbell subsequently replaced Dryer as a commissioner and it was Campbell, through his nephew, who sent word to Hampton Institute in Virginia looking for a teacher.
Booker T. Washington got the nod and he made the Lewis Adams dream happen.
To enable the Tuskegee Institute to undertake a program of total instruction, the school moved in 1882 to 100 acres of abandoned farmland, purchased with a $200 personal loan from the treasurer of Hampton Institute, J.F.B. Marshall, Boston Mass.
George W. Campbell Tuskegee, Ala
M. B. Swanson Tuskegee, Ala
Lewis Adams Tuskegee, Ala
George W. Campbell, Tuskegee, Ala
Henry D. Smith, Plantsville, Conn
H. Clay Armstrong, Montgomery, Ala
Lewis Adams, Tuskegee, Ala
Abby W. May, Boston, Mass
M.B. Swanson, Tuskegee Ala
B. T. Washington, Tuskegee Ala
George W. Campbell
Booker T. Washington Papers, Library of Congress
University of Illinois Press