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Isaac Mitchell

Collected Works

Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Political Barometer. 1802-1804

Why on the Cooper Website? The works of Isaac Mitchell are intriguing specimens of early American literature, and are not otherwise available online to the general public. They deserve to be available to scholars and others. This seemed as good a place as any. -- Hugh MacDougall, Secretary, James Fenimore Cooper Society.

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[Placed on-line December 2002]

Isaac Mitchell (1759-1812) was primarily a Republican (Jeffersonian) newspaperman. But he is known today primarily as the author of a work of fiction, Alonzo and Melissa which, in turn, is best known for having been successfully pirated by one Daniel Jackson, Jr., under whose name it was read by countless readers through most of the 19th century.

Mitchell was born near Albany about 1759. From 1798 until his death of typhus on November 26, 1812, he was a journalist (publisher, editor, writer), mostly in Poughkeepsie, New York, but for a time in Albany. His politics was strongly Jeffersonian Republican. The details of his career remain to be worked out, but he was involved with the following newspapers.

Publishing and printing: The firm of Mitchell and Buel (Poughkeepsie) and Buel and Mitchell (Kingston) published a number of books, almanacs, etc. between 1802-1805. In 1806 Isaac Mitchell of Albany printed a book published by Bacchus and Whiting.

Mitchell is best known as presumed author of three long stories, first published in the Political Barometer, and which we have transcribed from their original newspaper publication (typographical errors, etc., included):


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