John Bell

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Bell, John,

1797–1869, American statesman, b. near Nashville, Tenn. A leading member of the Nashville bar, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1827–41), was speaker in 1834, and for a few weeks in 1841 was Secretary of War under President William Henry Harrison. At first a Jacksonian, Bell broke with Jackson in the fight over the Bank of the United States and ultimately became the chief leader of the Whigs in Tennessee, dominating state politics for nearly two decades. As U.S. Senator (1847–59), he was the leader of the conservative Southern element that, though supporting slavery, placed the Union first. He admitted the right of Congress to prohibit slavery in the territories, supported the Compromise of 1850, objected to the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, and opposed the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution. In 1860, Bell was the presidential candidate of the moderate Constitutional Union partyConstitutional Union party,
in U.S. history, formed when the conflict between North and South broke down the older parties. The Constitutional Union group, composed of former Whigs and remnants of the Know-Nothings and other groups in the South, was organized just before the
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 and won the electoral votes of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. The lower South seceded with Lincoln's election, but Bell held Tennessee in the Union until after the firing on Fort Sumter. Bell counseled resistance to the Union invasion, but, disheartened and in ill health, he took no active part in the Civil War.


See biography by J. H. Parks (1950).

Bell, John


Born 1691 at Antermony, Scotland; died there on July 1, 1780. Memoirist.

Bell was in the Russian service from 1714 to 1747. He left notes (published in Glasgow in 1763) about his journeys across Russia into Iran, China, and Turkey. These notes contain much ethnographic information and many facts about Russian cities.


Belevy puteshestviia cherez Rossiiu v raznye asiiatskie zemli, parts 1–3. St. Petersburg, 1776.

Bell, John

(1797–1869) U.S. senator, cabinet officer; born in Nashville, Tenn. A prominent Tennessee lawyer, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1827–41), first as a Democrat, then as a Whig; as the latter, he served less than a year as secretary of war (1841) and then as a moderate U.S. senator from Tennessee (1847–59). Although he owned slaves, he was opposed to the spread of slavery in the new territories and states, and he spent fruitless years trying to fend off the oncoming confrontation over slavery. In 1860 he was presidential candidate for the Constitutional Union Party, in an effort to present a plea against secession that would appeal to those who saw the Republicans as extremists. (He won three states.) But when the Civil War broke out, his last public act was to advise Tennessee to join the Confederacy.
References in periodicals archive ?
Through our experiences with John Bell House, Dublin Road and Athletic Stores we have built up our understanding of the student market and demand in Belfast.
Hammond adds, "The appointment of John Bell as executive chairman significantly strengthens our executive team.
There are notes and drawings of donated objects and archaeological discoveries, who owed subscriptions, envelopes and correspondence with figures like Newcastle town clerk and Northumberland landowner John Clayton, engineer Thomas Sopwith and coin collector John Adamson, who with John Bell was a society founder member.
Skipton sale leader John Bell (right) with buyer Jock Sutherland
John Bell lived up to his reputation as one of the sport's top after-dinner speakers when he ended the proceedings with a most amusing speech, which was fully deserving of the standing ovation he received at the end of it.
It tells the story of a red-headed eight-year-old orphan, played by Scottish newcomer John Bell, who is adopted by a couple living on an island off the Irish coast.
The research will come from the lab of John Bell, chief collaborator for oncolytic viral therapy at Jennerx Inc.
Tory candidate John Bell also stood in the seat at the 2007 Assembly elections, cutting the Labour majority to 1,119.
Clackmannan's Joe Young, John Bell and Mark McCallum won the triples 24-20 against Polmaise.
Professor John Bell says the pale-rose-coloured glass could be used to construct an entire house.
Invaders from the North: How Canada Conquered the Comic Book Universe, by John Bell.
Anyway, what happened was that the happy family of John Bell (Donald Sutherland) suffered a poltergeist infestation from 1818 to 1820, after he'd more or less swindled a neighbor, widely considered to be a witch, in a land deal.