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Dr. John Kearsley Mitchell

(Born: May 12, 1798 - Died: April 4, 1858)

American physician, educator, and a minor poet and songwriter. He treated Virginia for her tuberculosis (see Chivers' Life of Poe, pp. 43-44). His son, Silas Wier Mitchell (1829-1914) apparently passed along a family tradition that Poe had occasionally borrowed money from Dr. Mitchell, money which he never repaid (see MS letter, Langdon Mitchell to Mary E. Phillips, October 26, 1917, Boston Public Library).

Mitchell was born in Shepherdstown, Jefferson County, VA, and  died in Philadelphia, PA. He attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1819. He began his career as a doctor as a ship's surgeon.

John Kearsley Mitchell

Criticism (Texts and Variant Texts)
  • Notice from "Autography"
    • "J. K. Mitchell" ("A Chapter on Autography" - part II) — December 1841 — Graham's Magazine


  • Duyckinck, E. A. and G. L., "John K. Mitchell," Cyclopedia of American Literature, New York: Charles Scribner, 1856, 2:381-382
  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vols 2-3 Tales and Sketches), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978. (Second printing 1979)
  • Neal, Joseph C., "Our Contributors -- No. XX: Dr. John K. Mitchell," Graham's Magazine, August 1845, 28:49-51.
  • Thomas, Dwight and David K. Jackson, The Poe Log: A Documentary Life of Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849, Boston: G. K. Hall & Sons, 1987.

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