John Bell

Date of Birth: February 18, 1796

Place of Birth: Mill Creek, Southwest Territory, U.S.

Date of Death: September 10, 1869

Place of Death: Stewart County, Tennessee, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish

John Bell was an American politician, attorney, and planter. He served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee, from March 4, 1827 to March 3, 1841, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, from 1832 to 1834, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, from June 2, 1834 to March 3, 1835, U.S. Secretary of War, from March 5, 1841 to September 11, 1841, and a U.S. Senator from Tennessee, from November 22, 1847 to March 3, 1859, among other duties. He was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party from 1817 to 1825, the Jacksonian Party from 1825 to 1835, the Whig Party from 1835 to 1854, and the American Party, from 1854 to 1860.

He was the Constitutional Union Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 1860.

Speaker Bell was the son of Margaret (Edmiston/Edmondson) and Samuel Bell, who was a farmer and blacksmith. He was married to Sally Dickinson, until her death, and then to Jane Erwin Yeatman, until his death. He had five children with Sally. Sally was the daughter of David W. Dickinson, a Jacksonian Whig politician, who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee. His grandson was architect Edwin A. Keeble.

Speaker Bell’s paternal grandfather was Captain Robert Bell (the son of John Bell and Elizabeth Fellowes). Robert was born in North Carolina, and had served in the American Revolutionary War. John was born in Scotland. Elizabeth was born in Connecticut.

Speaker Bell’s paternal grandmother was Catherine Walker (the daughter of John Walker and Anna Houston). Catherine was born in North Carolina. John was born in Down, Ireland. Anna was born in North Carolina.

Speaker Bell’s maternal grandfather was named John Edmiston. John had fought at Kings Mountain in the American Revolutionary War.

Sources: Genealogy of John Bell –

Genealogy of John Bell (focusing on his father’s side) –

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