Alexander Campbell Biography

Joe Baumstarck's picture

I am working on a paper for a graduate level course in Ante-Bellum America. David O. Hatch makes the statement in his book The Democratization of American Christianity that no historian has written a biography on Alexander Campbell. Is this an accurate statement at the time he wrote his book? Does anyone know of any biographies of Alexander Campbell?

Categories: Query

You're correct that there's no current biography on Campbell. There is a recent study of Campbell's religion & philosophy by Caleb Clanton, who's a philosopher by training, but there's no recent historical work on him that I'm aware of.

There is the three-volume "literary biography" by Wrather and Cummins (2009). It is a confessional biography and does not have notes. Despite its limitations, it is definitely worth a look.

From the Disciples of Christ historical society site, here is a bibliography of related publications, but none specifically on

There's solid chapter on Campbell from a denominational-history angle in Richard C. Traylor, Born of Water and Spirit: The Baptist Impulse in Kentucky, 1776–1860 (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2015). It's well worth reading for Campbell and the Campbellites in the context of Baptists in South.