Interview of Rev. Robert Bell of Pontotoc Co, MS. by Lyman C. Draper, sometime between 1841 and 1844. Draper Manuscripts, Draper's Notes
Maj. Robt. Bell was born in Penn – at 12 years of age his father moved to Amherst County, VA. – subsequently to Caswell, & in '71 to Guilford County, N.C. When he, Maj. B., was about 34 years old. At the age of 28, he had married Miss Catherine Walker, by whom he had 3 sons & 3 daughters; married a second time in Guilford County in Dec. '74 to Miss Mary Boyd, by whom he had 10 sons & 3 daughters – 19 children in all, of whom 11 were living in 1841. When the Revolution broke out, he commanded a company and served throughout the war – went with his company on Gen. Rutherford's campaign in '76 against the Cherokees – there was no fighting, for the S.C. troops had met & defeated the Indians previous to Rutherford's joining them – however the North Carolina troops burnt some Indian towns, destroyed corn – Maj. Bell fought at the battle of Eutaw Springs under Gen. Pickens – at the close of which, he was placed in command of the guard that conveyed the prisoners 22 miles to a place of security. They had marched 6 miles before engaging – making 28 miles march that day, beside the engagement. Gen. Greene in consideration of Bell's good services promoted him to a Majority in the regular service. Major Bell was in a private capacity at the siege of Ninety-Six; & was often out against the Tories. He was temporarily absent from the army after a supply of corn, or he would have taken part at Guilford battle.

In 1785 Majr. Bell emigrated to Sumner county in the Cumberland Country – since Tennessee. In the fall of '92 there were **rted at Maj. Bell's a dozen families, & when getting logs to stockade the place, 40 Indians were lurking about but did not attack the fort. Maj. Bell was much of a military man – was a professor of religion from a young man. In '98 or '99 removed from Sumner County to Mill Creek in Davidson: He died of the cold plague in January, 1816, in his 80th year, while at John Edmondson's, in the neighborhood of the ermitage: was born in Dec. 1736. His son Nathaniel sickened with the cold plague, a terrible malignant disease, while at Edmondson's, & Maj. Bell & one of his daughters went to minister to him – he recovered , but the aged father & daughter were seized by the fearful malady & died – Edmondson also died, & there were 4 corpses in the house at the same time.

Nashville, TN

Background and Source[edit | edit source]

Special Collections: Letter from the Draper Manuscripts,

Series S, v. 31: Notebook H; pp. 321-323.

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Rev. Robert Bell interviewed by Lyman C. Draper, sometime between 1841 and 1844. Draper Manuscripts, Draper's Notes

Series S, v. 31: Notebook H; pp. 321-323

Transcribed from microfilm copy of the original document

at the Tennessee State Library and Archives

403 Seventh Avenue North

Nashville, TN 37243 from the Draper Manuscripts Collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison, WI., Division of Archives and Manuscripts

Spelling and punctuation are as they appear in the original text.

These interview notes were made during a trip Lyman Copeland Draper took to the south early in his career, sometime between 1841 and 1844. They are now housed in volume 30S of the Draper Manuscripts (Drapers Notes).

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