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Duncan Campbell Pell (January 18, 1807 – January 16, 1874) served as the lieutenant governor of Rhode Island, and Chairman of the State Senate in that state from 1865-1866.

Duncan Pell
Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island
In office
GovernorJames Y. Smith
Preceded bySeth Padelford
Succeeded byWilliam Greene
Personal details
Duncan Campbell Pell

(1807-01-18)January 18, 1807
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 16, 1874(1874-01-16) (aged 66)
Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.
Anna Clarke
(m. 1834; his death 1874)
ParentsMary Shipley Pell
William Ferris Pell
EducationLitchfield Law School

Early lifeEdit

Pell was born in New York City on January 18, 1807. He was the third of eleven children born to Mary (née Shipley) Pell and William Ferris Pell.[1] His father was a New York merchant from 1808 to 1840, who founded the famous auction firm of Pell & Company.[2]

Pell studied at the Litchfield Law School in 1826.[1]


He was admitted to the bar in Albany in 1828.[1] Pell entered into a co-partnership with his father on January 23, 1831.[3] He was also a commissioner with the Washington Marine Insurance Company. He was described as "the finest looking man of his day in Wall Street."[4] In 1848, after approximately 17 years as a partner, Pell withdrew from D. C. & W. Pell & Co.,[5] likely a later iteration of W. F. Pell & Co. He was a member of the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York, having been elected on June 1, 1874, shortly before his death.[6]

Soon afterwards, he moved with to Newport, Rhode Island, where he would remain until his death.[4] In 1865, he was elected with 10,815 votes (vs. 97 votes for Henry Butler of Warwick) to succeed Seth Padelford as the Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island under Gov. James Y. Smith.[7]

The 1870 census lists him as a retired merchant, with a net worth of nearly $400,000 (nearly $8 million today).[8]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1834, Pell was married to Anna Clarke (1817–1899),[9] the daughter of Ann Low (née Carey) Cooper Clarke and George Hyde Clarke of Hyde Hall,[10] (a mansion on Lake Otsego said to have been the largest private home in the country).[8] Her elder brother, George Hyde Clarke (1822–1889) was married to Maria Gregory. Together, they were the parents of:[11]

  • Georgina Clarke Pell (1835–1851), who died aged 16.
  • Duncan Archibald Pell (1842–1874),[9] who was a colonel in the Civil War on the staff of General Ambrose Burnside. He married Caroline Plympton Cheever.
  • Leslie Pell-Clarke (1853–1904), who married Henrietta Temple, daughter of Emmet Temple, in 1876.

Stricken with apoplexy, Pell died in Newport on January 16, 1874, at the age of 68. He was buried at Island Cemetery in Newport.[6][12] His wife remained in Newport, residing at the corner of Mary and Clarke Streets in Newport.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Duncan Campbell Pell". Litchfield Historical Society. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  2. ^ Reynolds, Cuyler (1911). Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs: A Record of Achievements of the People of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys in New York State, Included Within the Present Counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Washington, Saratoga, Montgomery, Fulton, Schenectady, Columbia and Greene. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 298. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  3. ^ Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer, 1831
  4. ^ a b Bolton, Robert (1881). The History of the Several Towns, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester: From Its First Settlement to the Present Time. C. F. Roper. p. 67. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  5. ^ Morning Courier and New-York Enquirer, 1848
  6. ^ a b "Obituary; Duncan C. Pell" (PDF). The New York Times. 17 January 1874. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  7. ^ At the General Assembly of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, Begun and Holden, ... at ... Within and for the Said State, on ..., in the Year of Our Lord ... Henry Ward, Secretary. 1865. p. 173. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "Anna Pell House, Newport, Rhode Island". Lost New England. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b The Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York: History, Customs, Record of Events, Constitution, Certain Genealogies, and Other Matters of Interest. V. 1-. Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York. 1905. p. 119. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Guide to the George Hyde Clarke Family Papers,1705-1937". Cornell University Library. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  11. ^ Browning, Charles Henry (1891). Americans of Royal Descent: A Collection of Genealogies of American Families Whose Lineage is Traced to the Legimate Issue of Kings. Porter & Costes. p. 465. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  12. ^ The Atlantic Reporter. West Publishing Company. 1892. p. 111. Retrieved 29 August 2019.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Seth Padelford
Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
William Greene