Henry Laurens Mitchell (1831-1903)

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Henry Laurens Mitchell (1831-1903)

Material Information

Title:
Henry Laurens Mitchell (1831-1903) a 19th century pyramidal personality
Creator:
Buck, Morison
Place of Publication:
[Tampa, Fla
Publisher:
Morison Buck
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (3 p.) : ill. ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Judges -- Biography -- Florida -- Hillsborough County ( lcsh )

Notes

Original Version:
Originally published as part of the "Chips off the Old Bench" column: [Tampa, Fla.] : Hillsborough County, December 1997, Lawyer under title:
General Note:
Title from caption.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
B28-00021 ( USFLDC DOI )
b28.21 ( USFLDC Handle )
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PAGE 1

H e n r y L au r e n s M i t c h e l l ( 1831 1903) A 19t h C e n t u r y P yr am i d al P e r s on al i t y E ve r y s c hool boy know s t ha t T hom a s J e f f e r s on w a s not onl y t he t hi r d P r e s i de nt o f t he s e U ni t e d S t a t e s but a l s o r e now ne d by e a r l i e r s e r vi c e i n hi gh of f i c e : G ove r nor of V i r gi ni a A m ba s s a dor t o F r a nc e m e m be r o f C ongr e s s S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e a nd V i c e P r e s i de nt P r oba bl y onl y a f e w l i vi ng F l or i di a ns a r e a w a r e t ha t f o r m e r j udge a nd F l or i da 's 16t h G ove r nor i s bur i e d j us t nor t h of dow nt ow n T a m pa i n t he M i t c he l l / S pe nc e r f a m i l y pl ot O a kl a w n C e m e t e r y. T ha t m a n i s H e nr y L M i t c he l l Y ou m a y w e l l a s k how t he r e c oul d be a ny c om pa r i s on be t w e e n t he l i ve s of J e f f e r s on, l e ge nda r y V i r gi ni a n, a nd t he e a r t hl y t e nu r e of M i t c he l l of T a m pa F l or i da T he y a r e no t of c our s e t o be c om pa r e d M a r ke d di f f e r e nc e s i n t he c a r e e r s of t he s e t w o m e n, s e pa r a t e d by a c e nt ur y, a r e a ppa r e nt J e f f e r s on w a s a n A m e r i c a n of i nt e r na t i on a l e xpe r i e nc e a nd l a s t i ng i nf l u e nc e M i t c he l l 's pl a c e i n h i s t or y i s pa r o c hi a l l y c onf i ne d t o t hi s s t a t e E a c h w a s m a r r i e d but onc e M i t c he l l w a s c hi l dl e s s w he r e a s J e f f e r s on f a t he r e d s i x c hi l d r e n by hi s w i f e w ho di e d a f t e r onl y 10 ye a r s o f m a r r i a ge Y ou w on't f i nd M i t c he l l H e nr y L l i s t e d i n e nc yc l ope di c t e s t s but he i s t he s ubj e c t of a 1978 bi og r a phy e nt i t l e d T he L i f e of H e nr y L a ur e ns F l or i da 's 16t h G ove r nor by G e o. B C hur c h, J r T he m os t s t r i ki ng di s s i m i l a r i t y be t w e e n t he s e t w o w a s i n t he i r pe r s ona l a ppe a r a nc e J e f f e r s on w a s t a l l r e d ha i r e d a nd a ha nds om e i m p os i ng f i gur e M i t c he l l w a s a l a r ge be a r de d f e l l ow w i t h w ha t c a n onl y be de s c r i b e d a s ugl y, f o r bi ddi ng f e a t ur e s D oubt e r s a r e i nvi t e d t o i ns pe c t J udge M i t c he l l 's por t r a i t on t he nor t h w a l l of C our t r oom O ne i n t he C our t H ous e M i t c he l l 's r e pe l l e nt a ppe a r a nc e di d n ot a l i e na t e vot e r s w ho f a vor e d hi m t i m e a nd a ga i n. I t s e e m s r e m a r ka bl e t h a t t w o of J udge M i t c he l l 's de s c e nda nt s ( gr e a t ne phe w s ) a r e w e l l know n s e ni or l a w ye r s A l l i e B a y a r d A ngl e E s q. now l i vi ng i n S e m i nol e a nd N o r m a n S t a l l i ngs E s q. o f T a m pa w hos e di s t i ngui s he d good l ooks be l i e t ha t a nc e s t r a l c onne c t i on. I n one s e ns e how e ve r t he s e t w o publ i c s e r va nt s w e r e ki n dr e d s pi r i t s be c a us e ne i t he r J e f f e r s on nor M i t c he l l s e e m e d t o know w ha t t he y w a nt e d t o do w i t h t he i r l i ve s T he t hi r d P r e s i de nt f i t s t he bi l l o f w ha t t oda y w oul d be c a l l e d a R e na i s s a nc e m a n; he w a s i nve nt or l a w ye r a r c h i t e c t f a r m e r di pl om a t e duc a t or a nd oc c upa nt o f e ve r y hi gh of f i c e ( e xc e pt j udge ) hi s s t a t e a nd na t i on c oul d o f f e r i nc l udi ng t w o t e r m s a s t he na t i on's C hi e f E xe c ut i ve M i t c he l l w a s no s l ouc h. H e w a s a c i vi l i a n s ol di e r w i t h s e r vi c e i n t he C onf e de r a c y, l a w ye r pr os e c ut i ng a t t o r ne y, ne w s pa pe r e di t o r l a nd s pe c ul a t or a nd e nt r e pr e ne ur c i r c ui t j udge j us t i c e of t he S up r e m e C our t of F l or i da gov e r nor a nd f i na l l y c l e r k of t he c i r c ui t c our t H i s l i f e a nd t i m e s w i l l be t he f oc us of t he r e m a i nde r of t hi s a r t i c l e B or n i n 1831 ne a r B i r m i ngha m A l a ba m a r e l oc a t i ng t o J a c ks onvi l l e t he n t o T a m pa w hi c h he c l a i m e d a s hom e f or t he r e s t of hi s l i f e M i t c he l l e a r l y de m ons t r a t e d a ke e n i nt e l l e c t by r e a di ng l a w i n t he of f i c e of J a m e s G e t t i s i n hi s m i d t e e ns A dm i t t e d t o pr a c t i c e a t a ge 18, h e de ve l ope d a n a f f i ni t y f o r pol i t i c s a nd w a s a ppoi nt e d C ount y

PAGE 2

S ol i c i t or a t a n a nnua l s a l a r y o f $400 L a t e r e xpa ndi ng i nt o ot he r f i e l ds of i n t e r e s t he be c a m e e di t or of a w e e kl y ne w s pa pe r F l or i da P e ni ns ul a r H e s e r ve d s uc c e s s i ve t e r m s i n t he l e gi s l a t ur e 1875 1875, a nd t he n m o r e oppo r t u ni t i e s f or pub l i c s e r vi c e be c kone d. H e r e c e i ve d a n a ppoi nt m e nt a s C i r c ui t J udge f or t he S i xt h J udi c i a l C i r c ui t I t w a s s a i d a t t he t i m e by one o f hi s k i n t ha t H e he l d c our t c l e a n t o K e y W e s t a nd up t o C e d a r K e y. T he S i xt h C i r c ui t ( now P a s c o a nd P i ne l l a s c ount i e s ) e m br a c e d s e ve r a l c ount i e s a nd hi s j ur i s di c t i on c ove r e d a l a r ge a r e a o f t he w e s t c oa s t T he C hur c h bi og r a phy r e l a t e s one s t or y of J udge M i t c he l l 's ge ne r ous na t ur e H e w a s t r yi ng a c a s e i n K e y W e s t w he n t he t r i a l w a s di s r u pt e d by a f i s t f i ght be t w e e n oppos i ng c ouns e l H e he l d bot h l a w ye r s i n c ont e m pt a nd a s s e s s e d a $50 f i ne upon e a c h. W he n he l e a r ne d t ha t one o f t he l a w ye r s w a s br oke a nd w i t h out m e a ns of pa yi ng t he f i ne he ha nde d hi m $50 a nd t ol d h i m N ow you go i n a nd s e e t he c l e r k a nd pa y your f i ne t he n ge t ba c k i n t he r e a nd ge t t hi s c a s e s e t t l e d. W hi l e w or ki ng i n T a m pa a s a j udge he l i ve d a t t he O r a nge G r ove H ot e l l oc a t e d a t E a s t a nd M a di s on S t r e e t s j us t s t e ps f r om t he p r e s e nt C ount y C our t H ou s e L e l a nd H a w e s hi s t or i a n a nd j our na l i s t w hos e c ol u m n H i s t or y H e r i t a ge a ppe a r s e ve r y S unda y i n t he T am pa T r i bune di d a n i n de pt h, t w o pa r t s t or y a bout M i t c he l l I n hi s i ni t i a l c ol um n i n M a r c h 1984 L e l a nd t e l l s how he c a m e i nt e r e s t e d a f t e r r e a di ng t he book by C hur c h, M i t c he l l 's bi ogr a phe r t he n c onduc t e d a n i nt e r vi e w w i t h hi m I n a f o l l ow up on A pr i l 21 of t ha t ye a r he quot e d e xt e ns i ve l y f r o m a hi s t or y of P l a nt C i t y by Q ui nt i l l a B r ut on ( l a t e w i f e of H i l l s bor ough C i r c ui t J udge J D B r ut on J r a l s o de c e a s e d) a nd D a vi d B a i l e y. S a l i e nt po r t i ons of L e l a nd H a w e s f e a t ur e s t or i e s us e d w i t h t he l a t t e r 's pe r m i s s i on, f ol l ow s : I n m i d 1883 s pe c ul a t i on w a s s t i l l goi ng on but t h e r e w e r e s om e w ho kne w t he e xa c t r out e t he r a i l r oa d ( H e nr y B P l a nt 's pr o j e c t c onne c t i ng T a m pa a nd K i s s i m m e e ) w oul d t a ke O ne of t he s e w a s H e nr y L a u r e ns M i t c he l l of T a m pa t he n j udge of t he S i xt h J udi c i a l C i r c ui t of F l or i da M i t c he l l w a s w e l l a c qua i nt e d w i t h t he a r e a a nd w i t h i t s pe opl e a nd k ne w t ha t t he J ohn G T hom a s f a m i l y ow ne d a s i z a bl e t r a c t of l a nd s e ve r a l m i l e s e a s t of hi s boyhood hom e H e know a l s o t ha t P l a nt 's r a i l r o a d w oul d pa s s t hr ough a por t i on of t he T hom a s l a nd. H e a l s o know t ha t a s e c ond r a i l r oa d e xt e ndi ng s out h f r om O c a l a w oul d c r os s P l a nt 's r a i l r oa d a t t ha t poi nt m a ki ng i t a m os t l ogi c a l s i t e f o r a t ow n. ( P l a nt C i t y) T he r e f or e i t i s not be l i e ve d t o ha ve be e n m or e c oi nc i de nc e t ha t i n J une 1883, t he s a m e m ont h H e nr y B P l a nt pu r c ha s e d hi s r a i l r oa d c ha r t e r one T hom a s W he e l e r bought 40 a c r e s t hr ough w hi c h t he r a i l r oa d w ou l d pa s s T hr e e m ont hs l a t e r W he e l e r c onve ye d t he 40 t o j udge M i t c he l l I t w oul d a ppe a r t ha t W he e l e r w a s a c t i ng a s a n a ge nt f o r M i t c he l l T he T a m pa j udge bought a not he r 15 a c r e s f r om a m e m be r o f t he T hom a s f a m i l y, t he n hi r e d L e w i s E W a r r e n t o s ur ve y t he t r a c t a nd pl a t i t f o r s t r e e t s i n a t ow n. S i gni f i c a nt t oo, i s t ha t f a c t t ha t nor t h/ s out h s t r e e t s on t he P l a nt C i t y pl a t w e r e or i gi na l l y na m e d f or M i t c he l l 's pa r t ne r s i n a gr oup know n a s T he T a m pa S yndi c a t e T he y w e r e p r om i ne nt f a m i l y na m e s i n T a m pa S p e nc e r H e nde r s on, L e s l e y a nd S pa r km a n. T he s e c ond r a i l r oa d t he F l or i da C e nt r a l a nd P e ni n s ul a di d not c hug i nt o P l a nt C i t y unt i l 1889, but i t f ol l ow e d t he r out e M i t c he l l a nt i c i pa t e d i t w oul d. L e l a nd H a w e s i nf or m e d h i s r e a de r s t ha t t he P l a nt C i t y hi s t or i a ns c r e di t e d M r s B r ut on's hus ba nd w i t h une a r t hi ng t he M i t c he l l c on ne c t i on w i t h t he c r e a t i on of P l a nt C i t y f r om J udge B r ut on's e xpe r i e nc e i n t he e xa m i na t i on of l a nd t i t l e s i n E a s t H i l l s bor ough

PAGE 3

C ount y. M a ny t ha nks t o L e l a nd H a w e s f or pe r m i s s i on t o bo r r ow po r t i o ns of hi s c ol um ns I n 1887 a f t e r t e n ye a r s on t he C i r c ui t B e nc h, he w a s a ppoi nt e d by t he gove r no r t o a f our ye a r t e r m on t he S upr e m e C our t of F l or i da H e r e s i gne d hi s s e a t a f t e r onl y t w o ye a r s i n T a l l a ha s s e e N a nc y D obs on, he l pf ul a nd t a l e nt e d D i r e c t or o f F l or i da S upr e m e C our t H i s t or i c a l S oc i e t y, o f f e r s t h i s pos s i bl e e xpl a na t i on: O ne t hi ng, t he c a s e l oa d w a s ge t t i ng qui t e he a vy a nd w oul d a c t ua l l y ge t he a vi e r w i t h F l or i da s c ont i nue d gr ow t h A C i r c ui t J udge 's j ob pa i d onl y $500 l e s s t ha n t ha t of a j us t i c e A l s o, t he y m a de f r e que nt t r i ps t o T a m pa W he n t he y l i ve d i n T a l l a ha s s e e t he r e w a s not one pa ve d s t r e e t S om e of t he w i ve s di d not c a r e f or T a l l a ha s s e e a nd t hi s c oul d ve r y w e l l be t he r e a s on s pe c ul a t i on on m y p a r t B ut i m a gi ne l i vi ng i n a t ow n o f s e ve n hi l l s a nd t r yi ng t o c r os s t he s t r e e t i n a l ong d r e s s i n t he r a i n or a f t e r a r a i n. I n 1890 he t ook a ppoi nt m e nt a s j udge of t he S e ve nt h C i r c ui t T w o ye a r s l a t e r he r e s i gne d t o s e e k e l e c t i on a s gove r nor H e w a s a s s uc c e s s f ul i n t ha t e nde a vor a s he ha d be e n i n a l l hi s po l i t i c a l a dve nt ur e s ove r t he ye a r s G r e a t ne phe w B a ya r d A ngl e t e l l s t he s t or y a bout j udge M i t c he l l 's ba r be r a n out s poke n s uppor t e r i n hi s c a m pa i gn f or gove r nor w ho ke pt a pa r r ot i n h i s s hop. S e e m s t ha t t he ba r be r ha d t r a i ne d t he pa r r ot t o s qua w k s om e t hi ng t o t he e f f e c t V ot e f o r M i t c he l l vot e f o r M i t c he l l H e n r y's oppone nt w a s he a r d t o m ut t e r t ha t he d i dn't ha ve a c ha nc e w he n e ve n t he bi r ds w e r e o r ga ni z e d f o r M i t c he l l H e w a s r i gh t he l os t U pon c om pl e t i on of hi s gube r na t or i a l t e r m he s ought t he of f i c e of c l e r k o f t he c i r c ui t c our t A l t hough he w a s c r i t i c i z e d by s om e f o r w ha t t he y c ons i de r e d t o be a de m e a ni ng s t e p dow n by a f or m e r S upr e m e C our t j us t i c e i t ha s be e n s ugge s t e d t ha t w he n M i t c he l l l e f t t he gove r no r 's of f i c e a n hone s t m a n, he w a s br oke i n f a i l i ng he a l t h a nd ne e de d a j ob w i t h a n a s s ur e d i nc om e S w a ppi ng a bl a c k r obe f o r a bus i ne s s s ui t w a s not w i t h out pr e c e de nt M r s D obs on i n f or m s m e t ha t S up r e m e C our t J us t i c e M i l t on H M a br y of T a m pa s e r ve d f or t e n ye a r s a s C l e r k of t he S upr e m e C our t f ol l ow i ng hi s r e t i r e m e nt a s j us t i c e T he pl a t e be ne a t h hi s C our t r oom O ne por t r a i t i ndi c a t e s t ha t J udge M i t c he l l s e r ve d a t t he C i r c ui t l e ve l a ga i n f r om 1901 u nt i l t he ye a r be f or e hi s de a t h. T he f i na l r e c ogni t i on, pe r ha ps w hi c h he r e c e i ve d c a m e w he n he w a s e l e c t e d i n 1901 t o t he p r e s i de nc y of t he T a m pa B a r A s s oc i a t i on. T he r e f ol l ow s a n i nf o r m a l pi c t ur e of H e nr y L a ur e n s M i t c he l l 's gr a ve m onum e nt i n O a kl a w n C e m e t e r y M or i s on B uc k


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APA

Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.

MLA

Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.

CHICAGO

Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.

WIKIPEDIA

Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.