Mitchell's Ministry

Immediately after Dartmouth, Mitchell traveled northward on an evangelical mission sponsored by the Baptist missionary organizations that embraced pulpits of small northern towns in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Lower Canada. Having no family roots in the United States, he chose to remain in this near-monoethnic world, where he found family, community, and social affiliations. He married Ruth O. Cheney in 1832 of Putney, Vermont, daughter of a Baptist minister.

In 1833, five years after Dartmouth, Mitchell settled permanently in Lower Canada. Slavery in Canada and most colonies of the British Empire had been abolished that same year. Over the next decade, his missionary labors covered almost 20,000 miles. Baptist sponsors considered him to be “indefatigable.”

The borderland region of the Eastern Townships where he settled was predominantly populated by New Englanders, mainly from Vermont and New Hampshire, who had migrated north into Lower Canada for available land. In 1837, the Mitchells established themselves in Georgeville (formerly known as Copp’s Ferry), a village located on Lake Memphremagog. It was a stop for ferries travelling on the lake from Newport, Vermont, to Magog, Lower Canada. A place of picturesque beauty, immortalized by artists and photographers such as W.H. Bartlett, William Notman and Alexander Henderson, Georgeville would become, over the span of the Mitchells’ life there, a place of resort for vacationers and prominent Montreal families such as the Molsons and Allans.

Mitchell died in 1872 at age 80 and was buried in a family plot in Georgeville’s Ives Cemetery. A newspaper editor wrote, he was “a man of steadfast integrity; a preacher of marked ability; and a scholar. In the very last years of his life you would find him reading the Bible in the original languages. He has gone to receive his crown.” Baptist biographers judged him to be “the most profound theologian ever settled” in Lower Canada.

Boston Newspaper Accounts of Dartmouth's Graduation Ceremony

Mitchell graduated from Dartmouth with thirty-nine classmates on August 20, 1828. The news reports listed all graduates of the class of 1828 without reference to race, hometown, or birth origin.

List of Candidates for the Degree of A.B. Who Have Paid All Their Bills and Fees for Graduation at the College Treasury

Mitchell lived with Prof. William Chamberlain, Jr., and his family for three years. Chamberlain, known for moderate antislavery views and speeches, died young at age 32. At a 4th of July celebration in 1826, Chamberlain declared, "We must root out from among ourselves the institution of domestic slavery, or, before the close of another half century, we may have to abide the consequences of a servile war."

Letter to Edward Mitchell, Waterville, 18 September 1848

Sanger was an 1849 graduate of Dartmouth, a controversial Civil War surgeon, and a leading physician of Maine.

Canadian Scenery Illustrated

Mitchell's Stanstead-Hatley Calvinist Baptist congregation met at the town center in Georgeville’s brick “academy building," which is depicted in this 1842 engraving by William H. Bartlett.

To a Friend

Mitchell wrote a poem, "To A Friend," mourning a death dated February 26, 1831, from Windsor, Vermont.

Outline of the Religious Experience of Edward Mitchell

Handwritten manuscript of Mitchell's testimony to the Baptist brethren of Etna, New Hampshire, at his ordination as a Baptist Evangelist on August 13, 1829. The first 850-word section describes important events of his life, culminating in personal salvation and avowal of faith in God. The final sections detail his understanding of Baptist religious ordinances.

Sermon on the Closed Door to the Kingdom

Mitchell's lengthy sermon delivered from the pulpit of the Georgeville Baptist Church implored congregants to seek the door to God's Kingdom "while it is open, and repent of our sins and believe in Christ with all thy heart."