James Bell (New Hampshire)

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James Bell
United States Senator
from New Hampshire
In office
March 4, 1855 – May 26, 1857
Preceded by John S. Wells
Succeeded by Daniel Clark
Personal details
Born (1804-11-13)November 13, 1804
Francestown, New Hampshire
Died May 26, 1857(1857-05-26) (aged 52)
Laconia, New Hampshire
Political party Whig
Spouse(s) Judith A. Upham Bell
Children Mary A. Bell White
Eliza U. Bell
Lucy Bell
James Dana Bell
Charles Upham Bell
Alma mater Bowdoin College
Litchfield Law School
Profession Politician

James Bell (November 13, 1804 – May 26, 1857) was an American politician and a United States Senator from New Hampshire from 1855 until his death in 1857.

Early life[edit]

Born in Francestown, New Hampshire, Bell graduated from Bowdoin College in 1822, studied law at Litchfield Law School, and was admitted to the bar in 1825 and began practice in Gilmanton, New Hampshire.[1]


From 1831 to 1846 Bell practiced in Exeter, and was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1846 to 1850. He was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1850, and ran unsuccessfully for Governor of New Hampshire in 1854 and 1855.

Elected as a Republican in July 1855 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Charles G. Atherton, Bell served in the United States Senate during the Thirty-fourth United States Congress from July 30, 1855 until his death in 1857.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

Bell died in Laconia, New Hampshire on May 26, 1857 (age 52 years, 194 days). He is interred at the Exeter Cemetery in Exeter, New Hampshire. There is a cenotaph in his honor at the Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

Family life[edit]

The son of Samuel Bell and Mehitable Dana Bell, he was the uncle of Samuel Newell Bell and the cousin of Charles Henry Bell. He married Judith A. Upham in 1831 and they had five children, Mary A. Bell White, Eliza U. Bell, Lucy Bell, James Dana Bell, and Charles Upham Bell.[3]


  1. ^ "James Bell". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Capace, Nancy (Jan 1, 2001). Encyclopedia of New Hampshire. North American Book Dist LLC, Jan 1, 2001 - New Hampshire. p. 412. 
  3. ^ Stearns, Witcher, Parker, Ezra, William, Edward (1908). Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 4. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 2005. 

External links[edit]

United States Senate
Preceded by
John S. Wells
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from New Hampshire
1855 – 1857
Served alongside: John P. Hale
Succeeded by
Daniel Clark