POWHATAN L. MITCHELL

Born 1813 and died 1865.

Powhatan married Angelina Watkins in 1840. At that time he lived in a household of women: one between 5 and 10, another was a teeneager, his wife and another woman between 20 and 30, and two women over 60. He also had 5 slaves and was a farmer.


Powhatan and Angelina had 3 children; Bolling in 1844, Virginia in 1850 and Isabelle in 1854. Both girls ended up marrying brothers, sons of Maurice Morris.


In 1850 Powhatan purchased 150 acres at the corner of the James and Pedlar rivers. At that time His mother-in-law, who was 60 years old, lived with him and his wife and son. Powhatan then owned 9 slaves, 7 of them were mulattoes ranging in age from 1 to 21.

Then in 1859 Powhatan sold the ferry business with 1 1/4 acres for 8 acres. In the 1860 census it shows a family by the last name of Day living with them. I have never figured out who these people are.


In 1862 Powhatan purchased 126 acres from George Burkes, land which bounded with the land he already owned.


Both Powhatan and his wife died at the end of the Civil War, in 1865. Their property was split up between the 3 children with Bolling receiving 126 acres, 71 acres at the corner of the rivers to Isabelle and her husband Shelton Morris, and 119 acres with "mansion" to Virginia and her husband George Morris.

Julius Lester took former slaves interviews registered at the Library of Congress an wrote a book with thier quotes titled "TO BE A SLAVE". Following is an interview of a former slave of Powhatan:


slave quotesMy master's name was Powhatan Mitchell and he lived at Perch, Virginia, right at the mouth of the Peddler River. At that time ol' Master had a ferryboat and three farms. He was a Whig who owned slaves, but was against slavery.

He took me on his knee when I was about three and a half years old, and gave me his birthright. He called up an old sow that had thirteen pigs all different colors. He said, "You see them pigs there? They are all different colors, but all have the same mother and all are brothers and sisters." Then he called up his son and said, "This boy is your brother. I am the daddy of you both. You are to call me Papa henceforth. You are to call this brother of yours, not master, but brother.

Never call no white man master. For all are brothers and equal. Black is as good as white. So always keep courage and never back off from a white man. Treat all men alike and call all girls Miss, white and black; but call all men just what they call you. Always be honest and just and upright before all men. When you finish a day's work, get money for it and never take provisions or chattel. If you need provisions or chattel, get the money and buy them."

From that day to this I called ol' Master, Papa. I followed his instructions. I have always been honest, just and have contended for what was rightfully mine. I have never feared no man, white nor black.

Byrl Anderson
Library of Congress

I also believe that the mulatto Thomas Mitchell living next door to Bolling Mitchell in the 1880 census was a son of Powhatan Mitchell.

Wife and children of Powhatan.

Angelina Watkins was born in 1817 and died 1865. She was the daughter of Nancy. Her father had died by time she married Powhatan. I can not explain why she had so few children, but it may have something to do with the reason Powhatan fathered slaves.


Bolling Lewis Mitchell


Born 28 November 1844 and died 29 April 1926. He has his own page here.


Virginia Ann Mitchell


Born in 1850 and died in 1893. She was 15 when her parents died and 17 when she married George Salling Morris. They had 8 children.


Virginia inherited 119 acres with the house, from her father. Her husband was the brother of her sister, Isabelle's husband.


Isabelle (Belle) Mitchell


Born 11 October 1854. She was only 11 when her parents died. George S. Feagans was appointed her guardian with Shelton Morris acting as his surety. She later married Shelton Morris when she was 17. They had 5 boys and 1 girl.


In 1870 she was living with her brother Bolling and his new family. In 1910 she was widowed and living with 2 of her grown children, Emmet and Dollie.