Hezekiah Mitchell

(b. circa early 1800s; d. circa late 1800s)

Hezekiah Mitchell was first seen in the 1840 census, in the Cracklin District. He was married to Mary Ann Hardy. Together they raised eleven children: Georgianna, Alethia, Mary E., Henrietta, Eleanore, Martha Josephine, William Eli, Margaret “Maggie,” Richard, Virginia “Jennie,” and Lewis W.

Two of Hezekiah’s daughters, Alethia and Mary, married Bowen men. Alethia married James C. Bowen; Mary married William J. Bowen. Alethia and James Bowen moved to Baltimore. By 1910, Alethia was widowed and subsequently moved to Atlantic City, New Jersey to be with her sister, “Maggie,” and her husband Alonzo Ridley who had opened the first hotel African Americans in Atlantic City called, “The Ridley.” Alethia and Maggie were joined there around 1926 by their sister Martha Josephine, after her husband, Sylvester Foster, died in Philadelphia and their sister Virginia, “Jennie,” also moved to Atlantic City, after her husband, Robert Hutton, died. Their brother, Lewis W. Mitchell, and his wife, Alice, also left Maryland for Philadelphia, then moved to Atlantic City. They returned to Philadelphia, however, where he died in 1923, from Leukemia.

William Eli married Leanna Howard. They moved to Baltimore after the death of Hezekiah. Together they raised six children. Leanna died circa 1904. William then married Sarah Blake. William died in Baltimore in 1929. Henrietta Mitchell and her husband Nathan Cooper also moved to Baltimore. Henrietta was buried in Laurel Cemetery, in Carroll County.

In 1850, Hezekiah and his family were living in close proximity to the Caleb Bentley family, with whom he would have a life-long relationship. It was to Caleb Bentley’s home in Brookeville, that President James Madison fled when the British burned Washington in the War of 1812. Hezekiah was listed simply as a “laborer.”

In 1860, Hezekiah was living near Ed Stabler in Sandy Spring and was still listed as a laborer. In 1870, Hezekiah, alone, was a “farm laborer,” living with Richard Bentley. Both the Stabler home, “Sharon” and the Bentley home, “Bloomfield,” were reportedly stops on the Underground Railroad (UGRR). Hezekiah, himself, is believed to have been active with the UGRR.

It is assumed that Mary’s absence in the 1870 census meant that she had died. Hezekiah appeared for the last time in the 1880 census, as a head of household living with his son, William Eli, and his family. It is believed that Hezekiah died about 1885. After Hezekiah’s death, William and his family moved to Baltimore, where he worked as a chauffeur.