Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Camille Bright (Mrs. Tracy) Bell, 1852-1937

By Megan M. Atkinson, Tennessee Technological University

Mrs. Camille Bright Bell was born in Brownsville, Tennessee to parents Dr. Johnston Eaton Bright, a Presbyterian minister, and Sarah B. Slack. She was a graduate of Minden College in Louisiana, the school where her father was headmaster. In 1874, she married Major Tracy Wayne Bell (1844-1884) and the couple moved to Galveston, Texas. They had five children. After her husband's death, she returned to Jackson, Tenn., the city where she had met him and took a job as a teacher in the public schools. She headed the English Department and taught piano at College Street High School in Jackson, Tenn. until she retired, having set a record for longest tenure of a teacher in the school system. She died on May 21, 1937.

Bell was a member of the Waverly Place Committee‘s Woman's Department for the Tennessee State Fair in 1908. She helped organize and was the first president of the Jackson Equal Suffrage League in 1912.


Harper, Ida Husted, The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume 6: 1900-1920. LINK to TN state report.

Jackson, Tennessee Board of Education. City Schools, Jackson, Tenn. Twenty-Third Annual Report and Manual. Jackson, Tenn.: Thomas R. M'Cowat & Co. Printers, 1902.

"Jackson Put in Headlines During 1937: Mrs. Bell Dies," The Jackson Sun, January 2, 1938: 3.

"Last Rites for Mrs. C. B. Bell This Afternoon," The Jackson Sun, May 23, 1937: 1, 3.

Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith. Tombstone Inscriptions in Historic Riverside Cemetery in Jackson Tennessee (Revised Edition), Copyright 1998. Accessed from

"Society," The Tennessean, July 8, 1908: 7.

Yellin, Carol Lynn and Janann Sherman. The Perfect 36: Tennessee Delivers Woman Suffrage, Memphis: Vote 70 Press, Inc.: 2016.

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