Lawyer and member of the New York State Assembly. Second child in a family of eleven children born to Hon. Joel Burnell and his wife. Madison Burnell married Ms.Sarah Spurr, and this union produced three children, Valissa Melverton and Ella. A prominent lawyer in Chautauqua County for many years, Burnell maintained a law practice with future U.S. Representative Richard Marvin (1803-1892). Burnell represented Chautauqua County in the New York State Assembly from 1846-1847. In his later life he was mentioned as suffering from a kidney ailment, and is mentioned in Andrew Young's "History of Chautauqua County as dying at his sister's home in Sinclairville. He was memorialized as a "lawyer of unusual legal ability" and "it may be said that he was a man of very high degree of honor who despised all trickery."