John Mitchell Jr. – The Fighting Editor

John Mitchell Jr.

Born: July 11, 1863
Died: December 3, 1929

  • Editor of the Richmond Planet.
  • Civil rights leader
  • Member of the Richmond City Council
  • Founder of the Mechanics Savings Bank
  • Candidate for Governor of Virginia.

This story from Wikipedia paints a vivid picture:


(Resulting from his fearless reportage and campaign against racist lynching)
Mitchell himself was threatened with hanging at the hands of a Charlotte County mob angered by his reporting of the lynching, there, of Richard Walker in May 1886. Mitchell was sent a rope with a note attached warning him that he would be lynched himself if he ever set foot in the county. In reply, and borrowing a line from Shakespeare, Mitchell had this to say : “There are no terrors, Cassius, in your threats, for I am so strong in honesty that they pass by me like the idle wind, which I respect not.” Then, armed with two Smith and Wesson pistols, he boarded a train for Smithville, and undeterred, walked the five miles from the station to the site of the hanging. [Maurice Duke and Daniel P. Jordan, eds., A Richmond Reader: 1733-1983, (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1983)

He is buried in an unmarked grave in Evergreen Cemetery.


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