MITCHELL, JOHN (1837–1921). John Mitchell, politician from Burleson County, was born a slave in April 1837 in Tennessee. He arrived in Texas in 1846. He was a farmer, and his property holdings, valued at $3,750, made him the wealthiest black member of the Twelfth Legislature, which met in 1870. Mitchell represented Burleson, Brazos, and Milam counties in the Texas House of Representatives and sat on the Public Land Committee. He joined the Radical Republican Association, organized to uphold Governor Edmund J. Davis's vetoes of railroad-development bills during the Twelfth Legislature. Mitchell represented Burleson and Washington counties in the Fourteenth Legislature in 1873, when he was a member of the Penitentiary Committee. He was one of five black delegates elected to the Constitutional Convention of 1875. He ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives as a member of the Greenback party in 1878 but was defeated. Mitchell and his wife, Viney, had five children who survived to adulthood. Mitchell died on April 10, 1921, at his Burleson County farm.
Alwyn Barr, "Black Legislators of Reconstruction Texas," Civil War History 32 (December 1986). J. Mason Brewer, Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants (Dallas: Mathis, 1935; 2d ed., Austin: Jenkins, 1970). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Paul M. Lucko, "MITCHELL, JOHN," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmi94), accessed February 10, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles