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Madison Bell papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS1098

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence, booklets, and newspapers, the majority of which were collected by, or pertain to, the life and work of Madison Bell. The correspondence spans Bell's adult life; most are addressed from family and friends. Documents relate to his family and his career. The booklets pertain to Georgia law, Bell himself, and Georgia's secession from the Union. Items of particular note are a muster roll from the 30th Georgia Cavalry Battalion, posters advertising property for sale near Five Points in Atlanta from 1867, and a broadside advertising a reward for the capture of Jefferson Davis, in 1865.


  • 1844-1896, 1945-1951, 1992, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1853 - 1896


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Madison Bell (1836-1856) was born in Hall (later part of Banks) County, Georgia, the ninth of ten children born to Major John P. Bell (1792-1850) and Narcissa Lockand Bell (1801-1861). During Madison's childhood, his father owned the Glade gold mines, located twelve miles north of Gainesville, Georgia, as well as a farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1850, when John P. died, Madison was left in the care of one of his sisters and her husband. He farmed and attended school until becoming a clerk in Gainesville, Georgia, at eighteen years old. He began to study law with Gray & Banks law firm in Gainsville two years later and then attended the State University at Athens (later called the University of Georgia), where he graduated with distinction. Upon receiving his degree, he began practicing law in Homer, Georgia. Madison Bell enlisted in the Confederate Army during the Civil War as a private, was soon appointed Captain, and was later promoted to a Major. After the war, he returned to Homer and married Mary C. Cox (1847-1927) in 1869. The couple had five children: Mary (1872-1928), Nellie (1875-1937), Cora (1877-1955), Madison (1879-1942), and Ulysses S. Bell (1884-1907). Madison Bell continued to practice law in the Georgia appellate courts until his death.


2.83 linear ft. (two document cases, three oversize folders, six flat files)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff. Oversize material is listed last.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1993

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2016.

Madison Bell papers
Kelley Warrington
October 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305