Charles Campbell (1838 – October 9, 1890) was Oakland’s 2nd Mayor. His term began on March 5, 1855 and ended March 2, 1856. He was the candidate for the “Anti-Squatters,” which ran on a promise to break Horace Carpentier’s hold on the Oakland waterfront.

Campbell was born in Kentucky and came to California in 1849. He was trained in law and was also a preacher. He was an active Methodist in Kentucky before arriving in San Francisco and affiliating with the "Methodist Church, South." After living in Oakland, he moved to Stockton and was elected the District Attorney of San Joaquin County before moving to Yolo County and retiring in 1862.3

Campbell's daughter, Margaret, married Reverend J.C. Simmons. Another daughter married Rev. Charles V. Anthony, the pastor of the First Methodist Church of Oakland for three years beginning in 1873. 2

”At the election of March 5, 1855, Charles Campbell succeeded Mr. Carpentier as Mayor, and a new Council was chosen, all of whom held their offices intact until the 28th April, when Messrs. Gallagher and Williams resigning, on the 29th May Messrs. E. Gibbons and Robert Worthington were elected in their stead.”1

On May 16, 1855 , Mayor Campbell went on to approve a City Council resolution which followed a committee report on money paid to Horace Carpentier:

“Resolved, That the sum of twenty dollars and sixteen cents for wharf percentage, and fifty dollars for ferry money reported by the Treasurer (May 2d) as being received by him from H. W. Carpentier be rejected by the city and not received by them, as not being money belonging to the city.”

The City Council at the time believed the arrangement between the city and Horace Carpentier was illegal. 1

On June 15, 1855, Mayor Campbell approved “An Ordinance Repealing an Ordinance entitled ‘An Ordinance [got that? – Ed.] to create a Public Ferry between the Town of Oakland and the City of San Francisco, and to provide for and the keeping up and running the same.’” the day after it was passed by the City Council. These two actions were considered war against the monopolies and Carpentier’s waterfront claims. 1

Charles Campbell is buried in Mountain View Cemetery.

Links and References

  1. A Steeple Among the Oaks by Albert E. Norman
  2. History of Alameda County, California: Including Its Geology, Topography, Soil, and Productions, Volume 2 (1883)
  3. The History of Southern Methodism on the Pacific Coast by J. C. Simmons