Robert Campbell, Mountain Man


Saturday, Nov. 10 at 1:30pm
Missouri History Museum

The film relates the rags-to-riches tale of famous St. Louisan Robert Campbell (1804-79), a penniless Northern Ireland man who ultimately became the wealthiest man in Missouri. After arriving in St. Louis, Campbell became involved in the Rocky Mountain fur trade alongside legendary mountain men Robert Sublette and Jim Bridger, leading what he called a “bold and dashing life” — alternately fighting and befriending Native Americans, enduring the harshest of climates, suffering near starvation. Leaving the mountains, he became one of the leading citizens of St. Louis, with a business empire covering every aspect of commerce, property, and river trade. He even gave Mark Twain his first job as a Missouri riverboat pilot. The film follows Campbell's great-great-great-great nephew — former tank commander and Northern Ireland politician Alan McFarland — as he travels across the American West to uncover his ancestor’s life. Using re-enactments, archival photos, narration, and contemporary interviews, the film tells an engrossing story of adventure, love, and tragedy. The owner of the grand Campbell House — now a museum in downtown St. Louis — Campbell is buried with his family in Bellefontaine Cemetery.

59 min.

Directed by

Michael Beattie


U.K. U.S.

Film Category

International Spotlight Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Show-Me Cinema




With director Beattie and Andrew H. Hahn, executive director of Campbell House.

Sponsored by

Patrick H. Gadell, Esq.