Bell, John

Life Span
Full name
John Bell
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Slave State
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
Samuel Bell (father), Margaret Edmiston (mother), Sally Dickinson (first wife, 1818), Jane Erwin Yeatman (second wife, 1835)
Other Education
Cumberland College, TN
Attorney or Judge
Relation to Slavery

John Bell (Congressional Biographical Directory)

BELL, John, a Representative and a Senator from Tennessee; born near Nashville, Tenn., February 18, 1796; graduated from Cumberland College in 1814; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1816 and commenced practice in Franklin, Tenn.; member, State senate 1817; declined to be a candidate for reelection and moved to Nashville; elected to the Twentieth, and to the six succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1827-March 3, 1841); Speaker of the House of Representatives (Twenty-third Congress); chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs (Twenty-first through Twenty-sixth Congresses, except for Twenty-third), Committee on Judiciary (Twenty-second and Twenty-third Congresses); appointed by President William Henry Harrison as Secretary of War March 5, 1841, and served until September 12, 1841, when he resigned; member, State house of representatives in 1847; elected as a Whig to the United States Senate in 1847; reelected in 1853, and served from November 22, 1847, to March 3, 1859; unsuccessful candidate in 1860 for President of the United States on the Constitutional Union ticket; investor in ironworks at Cumberland Furnace in Chattanooga, Tenn.; died at his home on the banks of the Cumberland River, near Cumberland Furnace, September 10, 1869; interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery, near Nashville, Tenn.
“Bell, John,” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 to Present,
Date Title
New York Times, “Reasons why all Parties should Nominate Southern Candidates for President in 1860,” December 27, 1858
Memphis (TN) Appeal, “The Plans of the Opposition for 1860,” January 9, 1859
Charleston (SC) Mercury, “Presidential Aspirants,” January 10, 1859
New York Times, “The Killing of the Pacific Railroad,” January 29, 1859
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “New Danger To Douglas,” September 29, 1859
New York Herald, “Nomination of Gen. Scott by the New York Union Meeting,” December 27, 1859
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, "The Black Republican Nominees," May 21, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune,“The Fillmore Men,” May 25, 1860
New York Herald, “Bell and Everett Going Ahead,” May 27, 1860
Schuyler Colfax to Abraham Lincoln, May 30, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “Bell and Everett Going Ahead,” May 31, 1860
(Jackson) Mississippian, “Bell on Abolition Petitions,” June 6, 1860
Richard W. Thompson to Abraham Lincoln, June 12, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “Mr. Bell’s Acceptance,” June 14, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “The Fillmore Men,” June 19, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “Jeff. Davis on Platforms,” June 21, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “An Explanation,” June 28, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “Shabby Treatment,” July 7, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “In A Quandary,” July 12, 1860
New York Herald, “Lincoln or Breckinridge,” July 22, 1860
Ripley (OH) Bee, “Bell for a Slave Code,” July 26, 1860
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “Disunion,” July 30, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “A Word For Douglasites,” August 6, 1860
New York Times, "Politics at the South," August 10, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, “How the Field Looks,” August 17, 1860
Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “The South for Bell and Everett,” August 20, 1860
Chicago (IL) Press and Tribune, "No Go Yet," August 23, 1860
(Jackson) Mississippian, "Facts for the People," August 28, 1860
Charlestown (VA) Free Press, “A Broken Platform,” August 30, 1860
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “A Two-Edged Sword,” September 3, 1860
Dover (NH) Gazette, “Withdrawal of General Houston,” September 8, 1860
Raleigh (NC) Register, "Bell and Everett Pole-Raising," September 19, 1860
Cleveland (OH) Herald, “Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing,” September 29, 1860
(Jackson) Mississippian, "John Sherman, the Abolitionist, Proposes Three Cheers for Douglas," October 24, 1860
Chicago (IL) Tribune, "The Union at the South," October 29, 1860
(Montpelier) Vermont Patriot, “John C. Breckinridge,” November 10, 1860
William T. Sherman to Ellen Sherman, November 10, 1860
New York Herald, “Untitled,” November 23, 1860
August Belmont to William Sprague, December 6, 1860
Worthington G. Snethen to Abraham Lincoln, February 15, 1861
New York Times, “Rushing to Ruin,” April 26, 1861
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Good Bye, John Bell,” May 2, 1861
Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Treason,” May 15, 1861
Chicago Style Entry Link
Green, Don. "Constitutional Unionists: The Party that Tried to Stop Lincoln and Save the Union." Historian 69, no. 2 (2007): 231-253. view record
Mering, John V. "Allies Or Opponents? The Douglas Democrats and the Constitutional Unionists." Southern Studies 23, no. 4 (1984): 376-385. view record
Parks, Joseph H. “John Bell and the Compromise of 1850.” Journal of Southern History 9 (August 1943): 328-356. view record
Parks, Joseph H. John Bell of Tennessee. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1950. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Bell, John," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,