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Thomas D. Campbell Papers

Identifier: MSS-566-BC

Scope and Content

The majority of this collection represents Thomas Campbell's activities in New Mexico. However, series I contains some military and political items not directly related to New Mexico. The collection is divided into 5 overlapping series.

Series I primarily consists of documents (correspondence, government publications, etc.) relating to Campbell's military and political activities. U.S. federal government related documents include: U.S. Department of Agriculture publications and correspondence; War Assets Administration surplus property purchases; Air Force Association correspondence and recruiting; some of Campbell's military appointments; U.S. military land speculation in New Mexico; Republican party documents (including many Eisenhower related items); and some Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs items. New Mexico state government related documents include: land and soil conservation materials; state Taxpayers Association documents; and local Republican party items.

Series II contains mainly documents from the files of Campbell's New Mexican land managers. Land management papers include: correspondence between Campbell and his managers; reports and correspondence on land, livestock, crops, and the myriad other issues that concern a ranch manager; documents concerning Campbell and his one time agricultural partner John J. Raskob are also included in this series.

Series III focuses on Campbell's oil, mineral and geology interests. This series includes mining, oil and gas leases; oil, mineral and geology reports; some New Mexico property leases; and Rancher Exploration & Development Corporation documents.

Series IV consists of correspondence, deeds and other legal documents involving Campbell's New Mexico land grant. Original Spanish language deeds date back to the late nineteenth century. Contemporary deeds continue up to the 1970's. Related corporations include: La Joya Development Company; U.S. Land Corporation; Ascott Land Company.

Series V contains miscellaneous Campbell correspondence arranged from A to Z, and other miscellany.

Two oversize folders contain maps and other documents..


  • 1874-1984


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publications or distribution.

Biographical Information

Thomas Campbell. Part of the Thomas D. Campbell Pictorial Collection PICT 000-566 (Box 1, Folder 15).

Thomas D. Campbell was born to wheat farming parents on February 19, 1882 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He earned a B.A., an M.E. and an LL.D. from the University of North Dakota (1903, 1904 and 1929 respectively). Campbell did post-graduate work at Cornell University in 1904-1905, and earned a doctoral degree in Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1929. In 1932, Longmans, Green and Company published Thomas D. Campbell's book, Russia: Market or Menace?

Campbell served as special investigator of Native American lands for the U.S. Department of Interior during World War I. He was a Colonel in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 until 1946. During World War II, Campbell also served as transportation and equipment specialist on the General's staff overseas, and was elevated to the office of Brigadier General in 1946. Campbell remained connected with the Air Force throughout his life, and was a General of the Air Force Reserves until his death.

By the time he was seventeen, Campbell was managing his family's 4,000 acre farm in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Campbell was involved in some agricultural ventures before World War I, but it was in 1918 that his career in large scale agriculture began. During the scarcity of a war economy, Campbell came up with the idea that previously untilled American tribal lands could be successfully converted to food production. With two million dollars secured through New York banks and the aid of U.S. financier J.P. Morgan, Campbell leased 95,000 acres from the Crow and Fort Peck reservations in Montana, created the Montana Farming Corporation, and began the seminal American agro-industrial experiment. In 1922, the Montana Farming Corporation became the Campbell Farming Corporation, and continued to farm on land leased from Native Americans in Montana.

In partnership with New York industrialist John J. Raskob, Campbell began buying land in New Mexico in the 1930's. By 1949 Campbell-Raskob owned some 400,000 acres in New Mexico (at different times Campbell owned parts of the La Joya, Belen, San Pedro, Sevilleta and Tome Land Grants). Campbell maintained an active interest in New Mexico throughout the rest of his life. As an active Republican, he advised the U.S. Government on southwestern land potential, traveled to Alaska to report on its strategic potential for the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and was an agricultural advisor to the governments of Russia, Britain, the United States, and France. Thomas Campbell died in March of 1966 at the age of 84.


22 boxes ( 22 cu. ft.), plus 2 oversize folders

Related Material

Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation Records, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Maxwell Land Grant Records, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Board of Trustees of the Sevilleta Grant Records, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Thomas D. Campbell Papers, Montana Historical Society.

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Thomas D. Campbell Photograph Collection.


Contact Information

  1. Center for Southwest Research
  2. Zimmerman Library
  3. University of New Mexico
  4. Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-1466
  5. Phone: 505-277-6451
  6. Fax: 505-277-0530
  7. Email:
  8. URL:


Finding Aid of the Thomas D. Campbell Papers, 1874-1984
Processed by R. Peck
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 566 BC::Thomas D. Campbell Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss566bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131