Mitchell, John, 1870-1919Alternative names
John Mitchell was born in Braidwood, Ill., on February 4, 1870. Between the ages of twelve and twenty he worked in the coal mines of Illinois, Colorado, and other states. Mitchell joined the United Mine Workers of America upon its founding in 1890, became an Illinois sub-district official in 1894, and was elected national vice-president in 1898. He assumed the presidency the following year.
Mitchell's greatest success was the organizing of the Pennsylvania anthracite fields and directing the Anthracite Strikes of 1900 and 1902. The latter was settled through the intervention of President Theodore Roosevelt and resulted in the appointment of the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission and a permanent board of conciliation to settle grievances. Mitchell also served as vice-president of the American Federation of Labor from 1898 to 1914.
Mitchell had assisted in the formation of the National Civic Federation in 1900 and, after resigning the UMWA presidency for reasons of health in March 1908, he became chairman of the NCF's Trade Agreement Department. The centrist, reform-minded NCF was anathema to the radical elements within the UMWA, since its membership also included bitter opponents of unionism. In 1911 they succeeded in making membership in the NCF grounds for expulsion from the miners' union, thus forcing Mitchell's resignation from the NCF.
After 1911 Mitchell became involved in the activities of a number of labor-oriented service organizations, including the National Child Labor Committee, the American Association for Labor Legislation, the New York Peace Society, the National Committee on Prison Labor, and the National Women's Trade Union League. He was a member of the New York State Workmen's Compensation Commission (1914-1915) and was named chairman of the New York State Industrial Commission in 1915. During World War I, he was also chairman of the New York Food Commission, which monitored food production and combatted price gouging. He died in New York City on September 9, 1919.
From the description of Papers, 1885-1919. [microfilm]. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86094009
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Anthracite Coal Strike, Pa., 1902|
|Anthracite Coal Strike, Pa., 1900|
|Collective bargaining--Coal mining industry|
|Strikes and lockouts--Coal mining|
|Labor and laboring classes|
|Coal mines and mining|
|Anthracite coal industry|