1770 – 1850
Who was Samuel Bell?
Samuel Bell was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 14th Governor of New Hampshire from 1819 to 1823, and as the United States Senator for New Hampshire from 1823 to 1835. Born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, Bell became a lawyer in the 1790s, and entered politics by becoming a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives in 1804. In 1806, the year he left the House, he became the head of a bank which during his tenure in that position became the only New Hampshire bank to fail between 1792 and 1840. A member of the New Hampshire Senate from 1807 to 1809, and an associate justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1816 to 1819, Bell was elected to become the Governor of New Hampshire in 1819 as Democratic-Republican. Re-elected in 1820, 1821, and 1822 against token opposition, Bell's victory in 1822 was accompanied by the largest share of votes cast for a governor candidate of New Hampshire since John Taylor Gilman's victory in 1795. Whilst Governor, New Hampshire's crime level fell, and industry within the state prospered. In 1823, declining to stand again for the governorship, he became a Senator for New Hampshire.