Guide to the Papers of Charles H. Bell, 1842 - 1893Manuscript MS-619


Charles Henry Bell was born November 18, 1823, in Chester, New Hampshire, the son of John and Persis (Thom) Bell. He attended Pembroke Academy and Phillips Exeter, before entering Dartmouth College; he graduated from Dartmouth in 1844. After college, he studied law, practicing in Exeter. After giving up the active practice of law in 1868, Bell spent most of his time in research and writing, publishing several historical and biographical works, including the Bench and Bar of New Hampshire, and a history of the town of Exeter. He was president of the New Hampshire Historical Society, 1868-1887.

Bell represented Exeter in the New Hampshire state legislature in both House and Senate, holding, at different times, the office of Speaker of the House and president of the Senate. In March 1879, he was appointed by Governor Benjamin Franklin Prescott to serve out a seat in the U.S. Senate; and was governor of the State of New Hampshire from 1881-1883.

Bell died in Exeter, November 11, 1893.

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