Dartmouth in the 1820s

Mitchell entered a Dartmouth that was far different than the school we know today. The student population was small and relatively homogenous. The other students who matriculated in 1824 with Mitchell came from only six states, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut. They were faced with a rigid curriculum designed to prepare them for careers in the clergy, law, medicine, and education. But it was a community that welcomed and supported the 32-year-old Mitchell and even invited him to participate in the Social Friends, one of only two fraternal societies on campus.

Catalogue of Books in the Social Friends' Library at Dartmouth College

From the 1780s until the advent of Greek-letter fraternities in the 1850s, social life centered on the Society of Social Friends (of which Mitchell was a member) and the United Fraternity.