Broadus Mitchell papers, 1900-1982.

Creator: Mitchell, Broadus, 1892-1988.
Collection number: 4141
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Abstract: Broadus Mitchell, economist, historian, and liberal thinker, taught until 1939 at Johns Hopkins University, from 1947 to spring 1958 at Rutgers University, and from fall 1958 to 1967 at Hofstra University. He was the son of educator, Samuel Chiles Mitchell (1864-1948) and brother of educator, Morris R. Mitchell (1895-1976) and labor leader, George Sinclair Mitchell (1902-1962). His second wife was economist Louise Pearson Mitchell (1906- ). The collection includes correspondence, writings, and other papers of Broadus Mitchell. Correspondence, 1900-1982, chiefly relates to Mitchell’s research interests, particularly the life of Alexander Hamilton, and to his teaching career, including his involvement at Johns Hopkins in an academic freedom dispute and a controversy in 1938 over whether to admit an African- American graduate student. Included are three letters in the 1930s from H.L. Mencken about Mitchell’s writing, one in 1932 from Norman Thomas relating to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and one in 1935 in which Franklin Roosevelt discussed the problems of sharecroppers. There are many letters from colleagues and students, among them economist Anatol Murad; H.L. Mitchell; Daniel Singal; Robert A. Solo; Lynn Turgeon; and Harold C. Syrett, editor of the Alexander Hamilton papers. There are also family letters, including a few about family matters from brother Morris. There are also writings by Mitchell, including many on the life of Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, and economics and economic history. Also included are Mitchell’s 1931 report on lynchings in Salisbury, Md.; his contribution to a 1931 ACLU pamphlet called “Black Justice”; and an unpublished autobiography. A few family history materials, clippings, financial and legal papers, photographs, and other items are also included.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Correspondence includes a 1 February 1932¬†request from H. L. Mencken to see Mitchell’s 1931 report on lynching in Maryland (Folder 1). There is also a letter dated 1 May 1935 mentioning¬†Franklin Roosevelt’s discussion of the problems of sharecroppers (Folder 2)

There are several letters in November and December 1938 that show Mitchell’s involvement in the controversy to admit a black student to the graduate program at Johns Hopkins (Folder 3); and letters from the Southerners for Civil Rights organization from 1947-1958 (Folders 4-9).

The collection also contains several of Mitchell’s manuscripts, including a 1931 report on lynchings in Salisbury, Maryland, and a pamphlet entitled Black Justice , published by the ACLU in 1931, to which Mitchell contributed (Folder 61).