Born: 1821 in Sinclaireville, New York
Died: February 13, 1880 in Napa, CA
1861: Speaker, California State Assembly*
1864: President pro Tempore, California State Senate
- NOTABLE HISTORY: One of only three people to ever serve as the leader of both houses of the Legislature. The others were James T. Farley and Toni G. Atkins.
- SPEAKERSHIP BATTLE: In a fight that made the 1995 'Speakership Fight' look mild, it took the 1861 Assembly ten days and 109 ballots to elect a Speaker. Burnell was a compromise candidate who wasn't on the ballot until the very last ballots.
- Some biographies list his birthplace as Ellicott, which is a larger city eight miles south of Sinclaireville.
Source: History of Political Conventions in California, 1849-1892 by Winfield J. Davis (1893)