Documenting the American South

The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway
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Title Dr. Elisha Mitchell
Title Note portrait by unknown artist
Date December 1960
Description Photo shows a portrait of Dr. Elisha Mitchell, by an unknown artist (see commentary). Seated, he wears a dark coat, with a white shirt, dark vest and bow tie underneath. In his lap is a book. The entirety of the portrait is not colored; the lower portion is only outlined. As the Location notes, it is a copy from the Craggy Museum Exhibit and was meant for roadside exhibits. The photograph of this portrait was taken by Garrett T. Smathers in December 1960.
Commentary Dr. Elisha Mitchell was a professor of mineralogy, geology and chemistry at UNC. On June 27, 1857, he fell to his death while attempting to prove that (the then-named) Black Dome was the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi. He was right, and Mount Mitchell is the tallest mountain in the Eastern United States at 6,684 feet. The North Carolina Collection's blog, North Carolina Miscellany, had an entry on Mitchell which was quite helpful. It included this drawing, which is part of the NCC's photo archives. The portrait was actually commissioned by the Philanthropic Society. The entry can be found here
Location Location Name: Craggy Gardens Visitor Center
Parkway Milepost: 364.0
Latitude: 35.700172
Longitude: -82.379606
Creator Individual Garrett T. Smathers
Tags Craggy Mountains (N.C.)
Mitchell, Elisha
Mount Mitchell (N.C.)
Credit Courtesy of Garrett T. Smathers