Completely Kentucky Wiki
Advertisement

E Belle Mitchell Jackson.jpg

E. Belle Mitchell Jackson (December 31, 1848October 6, 1942) was an American educator and abolitionist from Danville, Kentucky. Mitchell was one of the founders of the Colored Orphans Industrial Home in Lexington, Kentucky.

Eliza Isabelle (Belle) Mitchell was born on December 31, 1848 in Perryville, Kentucky to Monroe and Mary Mitchell. Her father was a carpenter. Her parents were former slaves who bought their own freedom prior to her birth. She attended private school in Danville and Xenia, Ohio.

Mitchell met John Fee, a missionary and abolitionist, in 1865 at her church in Danville. Fee hired Mitchell to be the first African American teacher at Camp Nelson. Camp Nelson was first established as a Union depot during the United States Civil War. After Lincoln emancipated the slaves in the United States, 10,000 men, woman, and children lived at Camp Nelson because they had to leave their home.

Mitchell's time at Camp Nelson was cut short because she was forced out by white teachers and missionaries that objected to Mitchell sharing the dining facilities.

After leaving Camp Nelson, Mitchell was invited to teach at The Missionary Free School of Color in Lexington, Frankfort, Louisville, Nicholasville and Richmond, Kentucky.

In 1871, Mitchell married Jordan Jackson, a successful businessman in Lexington, Kentucky. Jackson was an undertaker and livery owner. After her marriage, she owned a millinery shop in Lexington. Jackson and Mitchell worked together on political efforts to advance the lives of the African-American community in Kentucky.

Mitchell was a co-founder of the Colored Orphans Industrial Home in Lexington, Kentucky. Originally the institution was a home for elderly African American women without family to care for them. Eventually, the home became an orphanage and school for homeless African American children.

Advertisement