Mitchell, John

Mitchell, John,

1870–1919, American labor leader, b. Braidwood, Ill. He became a miner at the age of 12 and in 1885 joined the Knights of Labor. When the United Mine Workers of America was formed (1890), he became a member; after his successful leadership of the S Illinois soft-coal miners in the strike of 1897, he was national vice president, then president from 1898 to 1908, when he resigned. His leadership of the anthracite miners' strike in 1902 secured better wages and working conditions in the industry, substantially increased membership in the union, and brought him recognition from members and the public as an outstandingly able leader. As a vice president (1899–1914) of the American Federation of Labor, he was a strong advocate of the "sacredness of contract," in which he was opposed by the more radical factions in the federation. In 1914 he was appointed commissioner of labor for New York state and was from 1915 to 1919 chairman of the state industrial commission. He wrote Organized Labor (1903) and The Wage Earner and His Problems (1913).


See biography by E. Glück (1929, repr. 1971).

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Mitchell, John

(1870–1919) labor leader; born in Braidwood, Ill. Having worked in coal mines from the age of 12, he joined the Knights of Labor in 1885. He was a founding member of the United Mine Workers (1890), helped in its first successful national strike (1897), and served as its president (1899–1908), a period in which the union expanded its membership tenfold. He was chairman of the New York State Industrial Commission (1915–19).

Mitchell, John (Galvin)

(1931–  ) writer; born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from Yale (B.A. 1954) and became a journalist for a variety of newspapers, including the New York Journal-American (1958–65). A science editor and swing writer for Newsweek (1965–68), he was a member of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (1966–68). His essays, articles, and historical sketches have appeared in numerous periodicals, notably in Audubon, where he was a free-lance editor (1976–91). A writer specializing in natural resource interpretation and historical geography, he is noted for such books as The Hunt (1980), and The Man Who Would Dam the Amazon and Other Accounts From Afield (1990). He lived in Redding, Conn.

Mitchell, John (Newton)

(1913–88) lawyer, cabinet member; born in Detroit, Mich. A wealthy New York investment lawyer (1936–68), he specialized in municipal bonds. Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign manager and attorney general (1969–73), he used illegal surveillance methods against student radicals and black activists. Convicted of obstruction of justice in the Watergate investigation, he served two years in prison (1977–79).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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