Tunis Gulic Campbell Sr.

Early Life

Tunis Campbell Sr. was born on April 1, 1812 in the state of New Jersey.  Campbell had an opportunity to learn alongside white children, so growing up he had a higher quality education than other black children. When Campbell Jr. was five years old, a white friend of his free black family assisted him in gaining admittance into an Episcopal school, and was the only black student within the school.  By the age of eighteen Campbell became a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. 


Later in life, he began to work as a hotel steward at Howard Hotel, in New York City until 1845. The last three years of his time at the Howard Hotel he worked as the principal waiter. During this final year he began writing his book, Hotel Keepers, Head Waiters, and Housekeepers' Guide. Later in 1848, Campbell published his methods and other hotel management tips in what would become the first book about this subject within the United States of America. He created a list ot of rules and guidelines for all employees who work in these types of high end organizations to follow. This is in part a result of his high levels of education, as well as his ability to rise to overcome challenges of race present within society. The white owner of the hotel, Daniel D. Howard, wrote about Campbell's character saying "an unusually intelligent, dignified, attentive, and obliging man. He is, withal, a man of unblemished moral character, with a disposition to elevate the condition and character of persons of his color.”

Political Endeavors

In 1868, Campbell ran for the office of state senator for the state of Georgia.  Alongside him was his son who ran for the office of state representative. Both of the Campbell men won their elections.  While Campbell was in office, he tried to pass laws that would promote; an equal education for all students, voter protection for those who have been discriminated against while at the polls, a fair juror selection procedure,and an end to discrimination on public conveyances. These types of laws are similar to the laws that the civil rights movement will be fighting for in the future.  Campbell also fought for the Fifteenth Amendment in order to further protect discriminated voters. He would also testify against the Ku Klux Klan to a congressional committee. Despite all the good Campbell was attempting to install within the government, he and his son would be removed from office by an all white legislation which deemed that "blacks did not have the right to hold office." Many newspaper articles were published attacking campbell and his political endeavors. These articles would not only attack the laws he tried to pass, but also him as a person for the sole reason that he was African-American. Just a few years later in 1871, Campbell Sr. would return to office. However, in 1872, Campbell was targeted and arrested in Georgia. the jail record shows that he was targeted as he is the only inmate with a description next to their name. The description also says that the authorities wanted arrest more African-American individuals.

Later Life

In the year 1880, Campbell Sr. remarried to a woman by the name of Harriett Nelson. Harriett was 10 years younger than him and had a 16 year old daughter named Katherine as well. In the 1890 City Directory, Campbell Sr. was listed as a Reverand for the city of Boston. Unfortunately, a year later, in 1891, he passed away.

The Sons and Daughters of Freedom