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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
The figure was later matched by another dog, 14-month-old tri-coloured Ron, from Yorkshireman John Bell, Selby.
HELPING TO KEEP CARDIFF TIDY Members of the Huggard Centre, Cardiff, pick up rubbish in St Mellons under the direction of John Bell, right, of The Rivers Project.
DESERVED PROMOTION New partner at BTW Judith Cassells, seated, with the firm''s other four partners, from left, Keith Williamson, John Bell, Malcolm Tindle and Emma Hartshorne-Ferguson
SANTA BUS: Ian Ferguson, left, Richard Marks and John Bell
'THEY HAVE TO BE CAUGHT': John Bell, manager of Premier Bookmakers
ANGRY Environmental campaigner John Bell cleaning the brook near Crossways Retail Park, Caerphilly.
Labourer John Bell, 30, of Earsdon Close, West Denton, Newcastle, was left unable to work for two years when his hand was crushed by a metal beam.
Dewi was trained up by retired farmer John Bell, 77, of Howden, East Yorks.
And she has now been promoted again to become the practice's first female partner, working alongside the existing partner team of John Bell, Malcolm Tindle and Keith Williamson.
Gresford opener Alex Ellwood, with a fine knock of 84, led the charge to victory, aided by John Bell (30) and Chris Elwood (21no).
Throughout December Stagecoach bus drivers John Bell, 59, Ian Ferguson, 54, and Richard Marks, 29, have donned their red and white suits to collect money for the Butterwick Hospice in Stockton.
A court heard that 45-year-old John Bell travelled to Scotland with police civilian worker Susan Lyons.