Friday, April 22, 2022

Finding Community: The Life of Edward Mitchell 1828

View of Georgeville, Canada
We have blogged about Edward Mitchell before, and we even did a podcast episode on him. Now we are excited to announce a new exhibition here in Rauner Special Collections Library that traces his life from Saint-Pierre, Martinique, to Hanover, and on to Georgeville, Canada.

He is a favorite topic because his life was so extraordinary. Mitchell was the first student of African descent to attend Dartmouth College--or any of the schools that would later become the Ivy League. In 1824, students protested the Board of Trustees decision not to admit Mitchell because of his race. The students’ activism was supported by the faculty, the Board relented, and Mitchell took his rightful place in the student body. Born in 1792, he had been a sailor and a porter before coming to Hanover. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1828, was ordained, and moved to Georgeville, Canada, where he became the first ordained minister in Canada of African descent. Throughout, Mitchell had an knack for finding community. 

Come in and take a look at his amazing life. The exhibit will be on display though June 16, 2022, in the Class of 1965 Galleries. If you want to see any of the documents after the exhibit comes down, we have a checklist with the exhibit text for you. The cool image of Georgeville above actually shows Mitchell's church. It is from Nathaniel Parker Willis and W. H. Bartlett's Canadian Scenery Illustrated (London: G. Virtue, 1842). You can see that by asking for Illus B258c.