Isaac Bell Jr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Isaac Bell Jr)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Isaac Bell, Jr.
Isaac Bell, Jr.jpg
United States Ambassador to the Netherlands
In office
June 8, 1885 – April 29, 1888
PresidentGrover Cleveland
Preceded byWilliam Lewis Dayton Jr.
Succeeded byRobert B. Roosevelt
Personal details
BornNovember 6, 1846 (1846-11-06)
New York City, New York
DiedJanuary 20, 1889 (1889-01-21) (aged 42)
New York City
Resting placeGreen-Wood Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Jeanette Gordon Bennett
(m. 1878; his death 1889)
RelationsJames G. Bennett Jr. (brother-in-law)
ParentsIsaac Bell
Adelaide Mott
ResidenceIsaac Bell House
Alma materHarvard University

Isaac Bell Jr. (November 6, 1846 – January 20, 1889) was an American businessman and diplomat.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bell was born in New York City, New York, the son of steamboat owner Isaac Bell (1814–1897) and Adelaide (née Mott) Bell (1828–1901).[2] Bell was the 13th Isaac Bell of his line, with his ancestor landing on the shores of the New Haven colony in 1640.[2] His two younger brothers were Louis Valentine Bell (1853–1925)[3] and Edward Bell (1860–1902), who married Helen A. Wilmerding (1856–1936), a daughter of Henry A. Wilmerding.[4] His sister was Mrs. James L. Barclay (d. 1893).[2]

His maternal grandfather, Dr. Valentine Mott (1785–1865), was a prominent American surgeon who had been court surgeon to Louis Philippe of France.[2]

He attended Harvard University in 1866 and 1867 as a member of the class of 1870, but left without graduating.[5][6]


He was a successful cotton broker and investor. He was one of the key investors in the Commercial Cable Company that broke the Transatlantic cable monopoly.[5]

In 1883, he built the Isaac Bell House, one of the famous Gilded Age summer "cottages" in Newport, Rhode Island.[1] The house, designed by McKim, Mead, and White, is considered of the best remaining examples of Shingle Style architecture.[7] In New York, he owned a unit in one of New York City's first cooperative duplex apartment buildings, the "Knickerbocker".[5]

He was active in Rhode Island politics as a Democrat. President Grover Cleveland appointed him the U.S. Minister to the Netherlands, and he served from 1885 to 1888.[8] He was also a delegate to the 1888 Democratic National Convention.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1878, he married Jeanette Gordon Bennett (d. 1936),[9] daughter of New York Herald founder James Gordon Bennett Sr. and sister of publisher James Gordon Bennett Jr. Together, they were the parents of three children, one boy and two girls:[1] Isaac Bell (b. 1879), who lived in Shaftesbury, England and was Master of Hounds for South and West Wilshire,[9] Nora (née Bell) Ricardo,[10] and Henrietta "Rita" (née Bell) d'Aramon (b. 1882).[6][10]

In 1902, his daughter Rita became engaged to Count Raoul "Paul" d'Aramon (1876–1926), a twin son of Count Jacques d'Aramon and the Countess (an American who was born Mary Fischer who died in 1932).[11][12][13] The wedding was postponed briefly in July 1902 due to the death of the Marquise d'Aramon.[14] The couple eventually married in September 1902 at the Saint-Honoré-d'Eylau Church in Paris in what was described as a "Brilliant Social Function".[15] The wedding was attended by Gen. Horace Porter, Mrs. Leach, Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Frank Koster, Kendal Shaw, and Mrs. Austin Lee, but not by the bride's uncle, James Gordon Bennett Jr., as there was a reported coolness between him and his sister.[15] After their marriage, the Count and Countess lived in Paris.[16]

In January 1889,[17] gravely ill from typhoid fever and pyaemia, he was brought by steamboat from Newport, R.I., to St. Luke's Hospital in New York City. He died there two weeks later. His funeral was held at Trinity Church, and he was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.[18][19] After his death, his family moved abroad and returned home occasionally to visit New York and Newport.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d "Isaac Bell, Jr". The New York Times. 21 January 1889. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "ISAAC BELL PASSES AWAY; The Well-Known Business Man, Philanthropist, and Public Spirited Citizen Is Dead. HE HAD A NOTABLE CAREER Was One of the Leading Cotton Merchants the First Commissioner of Charities and Correction, and Prominent in Other Ways". The New York Times. 1 October 1897. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Obituary -- BELL". The New York Times. 27 January 1925. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  4. ^ "DEATH OF EDWARD BELL.; The ex-Commissioner of Parks and Stock Broker Had Been Ill with Typhoid Fever". The New York Times. 8 July 1902. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Hall, Henry (1895). America's Successful Men of Affairs: The city of New York. New York Tribune. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  6. ^ a b 1868, Harvard College (1780-) Class of (1908). Secretary's report: fortieth anniversary. E. O. Cockayne. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  7. ^ "MR. BELL LEASES HIS VILLA". The New York Times. 5 November 1886. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  8. ^ "POLITICAL VACANCY FILLED". The New York Times. 16 August 1888. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  9. ^ a b Times, Wireless To The New York (13 February 1936). "MRS. ISAAC BELL.; Daughter of Elder James Gordon Bennett Dies in London,". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  10. ^ a b Supreme Court Appellate Division- First Department Case On Appeal. The Hecla Press. p. 69. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  11. ^ Depew, Chauncey M. (2013). Titled Americans, 1890: A list of American ladies who have married foreigners of rank. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781783660056. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  12. ^ a b "The Week in Franco-American Society in Paris.; Miss Bell Betrothed to Count Raoul d'Aramon -- Americans Returning from London -- The President's Garden Party -- An Aristocratic Function -- American Girl Sculptor's Success". The New York Times. July 6, 1902. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  13. ^ Selby, Walford Dakin (1901). The Genealogist. George Bell & Sons. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  14. ^ Times, Special Cable To The New York (20 July 1902). "COMING AND PARTING GUESTS OF PARIS.; Miss Rita Belt's Wedding Postponed -- Doings of Some American People". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  15. ^ a b Times, Special Cable To The New York (28 September 1902). "THE D'ARAMON-BELL WEDDING.; Brilliant Social Function at the Church of St. Honors d'Eylau, Paris, Attended by Paris-American Society". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  16. ^ Social Register, New York. Social Register Association. 1912. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  17. ^ "EX-MINISTER BELL ILL". The New York Times. 9 November 1888. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  18. ^ "ISAAC BELL'S FUNERAL.; MANY PROMINENT PEOPLE ATTEND IT IN TRINITY CHURCH". The New York Times. 24 January 1889. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  19. ^ Reports from the New York Times show that he died on Sunday, January 20, 1889. A number of other sources incorrectly report his date of death as January 29.
  • "Isaac Bell's Illness: A Very Sick Man Leaves Newport for St. Luke's Hospital", New York Times, January 5, 1889, page 5
  • "Arrival of Ex-Minister Bell", New York Times, January 6, 1889, page 3
  • "Obituary: Isaac Bell Jr.", obituary New York Times, January 21, 1889, page 2
  • "Isaac Bell's Funeral: Many Prominent People Attend It At Trinity Church", New York Times January 24, 1889, page 8

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
William L. Dayton Jr.
U.S. Minister to the Netherlands
Succeeded by
Robert Roosevelt