Mitchell, John Kearsley
- David L. Cowen
Mitchell, John Kearsley (12 or 17 May 1793–04 April 1858), physician, was born in Shepherdstown, Virginia (now West Virginia), the son of Alexander Mitchell, a and Elizabeth Kearsley. Orphaned at the age of eight, Mitchell was put in the charge of his maternal grandmother and, after her death, was sent to his father’s family in Ayr, Scotland, arriving there when he was about thirteen. He was educated at Ayr Academy, where he excelled scholastically, and at the University of Edinburgh. He returned to the United States in 1814 almost penniless, freed the two or three slaves he had inherited and whose rental had paid his expenses at Edinburgh, and with the financial support of the Kearsleys, began the study of medicine in 1815 or 1816. Taken in first as a student by Dr. Samuel Powel Griffitts, he later enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received his medical degree in 1819....