James Bell

November 13, 1804
May 26, 1857
Home Town:
Francestown, NH
Later Residences:
Gilmanton, NH
Judith Upham Bell (1831)
Biographical Notes:
James Bell was the son of Samuel Bell, a successful lawyer, judge, Governor, and United States Senator from New Hampshire.

Before attending the Litchfield Law School, Bell studied law with his brother Samuel D. Bell (later a judge of the Superior Court) of Concord, New Hampshire. Bell attended the Litchfield Law School in 1824. Upon completion, he returned to New Hampshire, where he passed the bar in 1825 and began a legal practice in Gilmanton.

Bell successfully negotiated water rights for New England manufacturing companies. The rapid development of manufacturing in the towns of Lowell and Lawrence Massachusetts, and in Manchester, New Hampshire depended completely on the water power of the Merrimac River. During the dry summer season, manufacturing was threatened ...
"He was an eminently respectable man in every point of view, and his constituency will hardly find a better representative." Obituary, New York Herald, May 28, 1857, Page: 8, New York, New York .

"As a lawyer, Mr. Bell ranked among the very first in New Hampshire. As a statesman, he was honest, conservative and true, and in his private character he was blameless. His loss will be deeply felt, wherever he was known." Obituary, St. Albans Messenger June 04, 1857, Page 2, St. Albans, Vermont.

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover in 1818, and from Bowdoin College in 1822.

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Political Office
Admitted To Bar:
Training with Other Lawyers:
He studied law with his brother Samuel D. Bell of Concord, NH prior to attending the LLS.
Political Party:
Opposition; Republican; Whig
Federal Posts:
U.S. Senator (NH) 1855-1857
State Posts:
State Representative (NH) 1826, 1850
State Committees:
Member of the state constitutional convention of 1850

Related Objects and Documents
In the Ledger:
help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School (Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany and Company, 1848), 20.
Secondary Sources:
Bell, Charles H. Bench and Bar of New Hampshire. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1894.; Cleaveland, Nehemiah. History of Bowdoin College. Boston: James Ripley Osgood and Company, 1882.

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