John Bell (1797 A.D – 1869 A.D), American statesman, born near Nashville, Tennessee, and educated at Cumberland College. John Bell practiced law and served in the Tennessee Senate before entering the U.S. House of Representatives in 1827 A.D as a Democrat. He joined the Whig party in 1829 A.D and in 1834 A.D defeated James Polk, later president of the U.S., for the office of Speaker of the House.
Bell left the House in March 1841 A.D to join the cabinet of President William H. Harrison; however, John Bell resigned the following September because of a split between the Whigs and President John Tyler, who had succeeded Harrison.
From 1847 A.D to 1859 A.D Bell served in the U.S. Senate as a Whig. In 1860 A.D He was the presidential candidate of the Constitutional Union party. Bell won the electoral votes of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, but he lost the election to Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate. Bell at first opposed the secession of the southern states, but he later endorsed the Confederate States of America.
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