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Charles Henry Bell
New Hampshire

Gov. Charles Henry Bell

  • June 2, 1881 - June 7, 1883
  • Republican
  • November 18, 1823
  • November 11, 1893
  • New Hampshire
  • Dartmouth College
  • Married twice—Sarah Almira Gilman, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Gray) Gilman; two children
  • Senator


CHARLES H. BELL, the forty-seventh governor of New Hampshire, was born in Chester, New Hampshire on November 18, 1823. His education was attained at Pembroke Academy, at Phillips Exeter Academy, and at Dartmouth College, where he graduated in 1844. After studying law, Bell established his legal career, serving as the prosecuting attorney for Rockingham County from 1856 to 1866. He also became involved in the literary world. He was the editor of the Exeter News Letter for a number of years, and was the author of several historical books. Bell entered politics in 1858, serving as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, a position he held until 1860, and from which he also served as speaker in 1860. He also served as a member of the New Hampshire State Senate from 1863 to 1864; was senate president in 1864; and served as a member of the U.S. Senate from March 1879 to June 1879. Bell next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1881 general election. During his tenure, a state board of health was created; and a liquor prohibition bill was promoted. After completing his term, Bell retired from political life. He stayed active, returning to his literary pursuits and his legal interests. Governor Charles H. Bell passed away on November 11, 1893, and was buried in the Exeter Cemetery in Exeter, New Hampshire.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Virtual American Biographies

Relation to Another Governor
  • Uncle of New Hampshire  Governor Samuel Bell
  • Father of New Hampshire  Governor John Bell

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