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165    MITCHELL FAMILY CEMETERY (1829, Relocated 1961)

      Location - In Chapel Hill Township on the campus of the University of North Carolina. Four Mitchell family graves were originally located behind the "First President's House," built in 1795 on the north side of Cameron Avenue and demolished in 1913 when Swain Hall was constructed at that location.

      Coordinates: 35d 54m 41.0s N; 79d 03m 13.0s W Click here for Google maps

      Comments - The Rev. Dr. Elisha Mitchell came to Chapel Hill from Connecticut in 1818 to assume the position of professor of mathematics and natural philosophy. Maria Sybil North Mitchell of New London, Connecticut joined him following their marriage in November 1819. They had seven children. The family occupied the house until 1857, when he died in a tragic fall from the mountain that is now called Mount Mitchell in his honor. Originally buried in Asheville, his grave was later relocated to the mountain.

      Two graves at the house were those of Elisha and Maria's children: Matthew Henry and Henry Eliot, who died as infants. The others were those of two of their grandchildren. Richard Henry Ashe, who died in 1862 at age 16, was the son of Mary Pheobe Mitchell, eldest of the four Mitchell daughters, and the lawyer Richard J. Ashe, who were married 28 Oct 1845. The other was Richard Mitchell Grant, who died in 1862 at age 4 from diptheria, the son of Eliza North Mitchell and Richard S. Grant, who were married on 17 (or 20) Nov 1852.

      The graves were removed in 1961 under the direction of the late Professor Joffre L. Coe (1916-2000), a distinguished archaeologist at the university, to Section II of the Old Chapel Hill Town Cemetery (see correspondence). The names are listed in the Chapel Hill Cemetery records, where an obelisk with inscriptions on all four sides identifies the four relocated burials.

      Steve Rankin researched the update for this cemetery in 2010 and provided the correspondence about the grave removals he received from Dr. Steve Davis of the UNC Research Laboratories of Archaeology.

Web page updated 13 May 2017

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