Theo Bell
5th President of the United States
In Office:
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
Vice President: Andrew Jackson
Preceded by: James Madison
Succeeded by: Andrew Jackson
Territorial Governor of the Oregon Territory
In office:
January 3, 1801 - November 16, 1812
Lieutenant Governor: Chief Seattle
Preceded by: Office Created
Succeded by: Chief Seattle
Ambassador to China
In office:
March 19, 1799 - January 1, 1801
Preceded by: Office Created
Succeded by: William Prescott
Born: February 24, 1989
Tacoma, Washington (OTL)
Nationality: American
Political party: None
Spouse: Dorothy Griffin (Divorced 1829)
Children: Don Griffin, Heather Bell
Residence: Victoria, Cascadia
New York, New York
Alma mater: None
Occupation: Inventor, Businessman, Writer
Religion: Agnostic

Theo Bell (February 24, 1989 – October 3, 1838) was an American inventor and political philosopher who served as the fifth President of the United States (1817–1825) and was known as the "Founding Son" of the United States. Considered to be the "Father of the Constitution", he was the principal author of the document. As a political theorist, Bell's most distinctive belief was that the duty of the government was not just to protect political freedoms from those in power, but to also protect the economic freedoms from those outside of government.

As leader of the Continental Marine's "Ghost Company", Bell worked closely with George Washington to organize the new American military, designing most of the revolutionary weapons that aided in the victory over the British Empire. Bell was the only founder to maintain a totally non-partisan affiliation other than George Washington. He co-authored, along with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 to protest the Alien and Sedition Acts, but unlike Jefferson and Madison his authorship was made public.

During the Great American War, Bell led the Army of the Pacific to victory in the Oregon territory over the British, Russian, and Spanish forces eventually moving into the Louisiana Purchase, and driving to the East to aid President Madison in retaking Washington DC. As president, his administration was marked by the creation of the largest expansion of government in American history with the Great Society Acts, and is largely given credit for keeping the United States' new territories together.

Elective Office

Following a career as an independent organizer and businessman, Bell joined his colleagues as a non-partisan politician in the Virginia Convention which ratified the Constitution that he co-authored, and in 1788, was elected to the US House of Representatives for New York's 1st district.

Ambassador to China

Bell resigned his House seat after being moving to the Oregon Territory and was appointed Ambassador to China in 1799. As ambassador, Bell was able to secure a number of trade agreements with the Chinese, all the while building a new port town on the West Coast. His task of reassuring China that Adam's policy of strict neutrality did not favor Britain was sabotaged, however, by the signing of the Treaty of Providence, particularly as Bell had not been provided with a copy and thus was unable to respond to Chinese requests to see its contents. He resigned in 1801 due to growing opposition to President Adam's policies.

Territorial Governor of Oregon and Diplomat

Out of office, Bell returned to developing a shipping industry in the Oregon Territory until elected territorial governor there, serving from 1801 to 1812. He enforced some of the most liberal policies in the nation, encouraging women to work outside the home and passing the first child labor laws in the nation's history. His most controversial move was the territorial government's direct control over the ports and local shipping industry, which allowed him to use funds gained through trade tariffs to develop education, infrastructure, and health and welfare programs.

Under the first Jefferson administration, Bell was dispatched to France to assist Robert R. Livingston to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase, where he managed to convince Napoleon to sell the US all North American colonial possessions. Other than the success of the purchase, Bell was constantly at odds with Jefferson, especially following his budget cuts that effectively destroyed the American's blue water navy and stopped the military upgrades first proposed by Washington.

Presidency 1817–1825: The Era of Good Feelings


In both the presidential elections of 1816 and 1820 Bell's run for office was difficult to oppose. Attentive to detail, well prepared on most issues, non-partisan in spirit though aggressive in practice, and above all pragmatic, Bell managed his presidential duties well. He made strong Cabinet choices, naming westerner, Henry Clay, as Secretary of War, and a northerner, John Quincy Adams, as Secretary of State. Only John C. Calhoun's refusal to accept a position kept Bell from adding an outstanding southerner. Most appointments went to deserving Democratic-Republicans, Federalists and fellow independent politicians, but he did not try to use them to destroy the DR's base. Indeed, he allowed the lower posts to take on diverse political appointees, which reduced anxiety and led to the naming of this period in American history as the "Era of Good Feelings". To build national trust, he made two long national tours in 1817. Frequent stops allowed innumerable ceremonies of welcome and good will. All the while the Democratic-Republican Party was diminishing. The party maintained its vitality and organizational integrity at the state and local level but dwindled at the federal level due to redistricting. The party's Congressional caucus stopped meeting, and there were no notable national conventions after Bell's last term.

During his presidency, Bell worked with Congress to create an American middle class through numerous subsidies for internal improvements, as well as major infrastrucuture projects such as for the creation of the Pan-American Railway. Bell also worked for the creation of a national telephone service, the creation of roads and bridges, as well as the first airports. Bell believed it to be the duty of government to have a large hand in civics projects deserving of attention rather than leaving it to a state by state basis. This sort of progressive action underlined Bell's populist ideals and added credit to the federal offices that he was so fond of visiting on his speech trails.

The era of "good feelings" endured until 1825, and carried over, albeit some what convexly, to Andrew Jackson who was elected President in a landslide following Bell's succesfull presidency. Bell's popularity was undiminished even when following difficult nationalist policies as the country's commitment to nationalism was starting to come to fruition. The Boom of 1819 was the result of massive domestic spending on civil works projects and was the beginnings of the American Middle Class.

Through it all, Bell is probably best known for the Great Society Acts, which he delivered in his message to Congress on December 2, 1818. In it, he proclaimed the Americas should be free from not just European interference in sovereign affairs of the United States, but free from domestic tyranny of economic uncertainty. It further stated the United States' intention to create an "American Middle Class," kept free from want and poverty through government intervention. It is Bell's most famous contribution to society.

Administration and Cabinet

The Bell Cabinet
Office Name Term
President Theo Bell 1817–1825
Vice President Andrew Jackson 1817–1825
Secretary of State John Quincy Adams 1817–1825
Secretary of Treasury William H. Crawford 1817–1825
Secretary of War Henry Clay 1817–1825
Attorney General William Wirt 1817–1825
Secretary of Labor Tim Pasco 1817–1825
Secretary of Education Cheyenne Space 1817–1825

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