DAVID BRYDIE MITCHELL was born in Muthill, Perthshire, Scotland, on October 22, 1766. In 1782 he immigrated to Savannah, Georgia, and claimed ownership of property he inherited from an uncle. Seven years later, he became a U.S. citizen. He also was admitted to the bar that same year, and started a career in public service. From 1793 to 1809 he rose through militia ranks from captain to major general. He served as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 1794 to 1796, was the solicitor general of his district from 1796 to 1798, and served as a justice of the Superior Court of the Eastern Division from 1798 to 1801. He was mayor of Savannah from 1801 to 1802, was U.S. attorney general for Georgia from 1803 to 1805, and served in the Georgia senate from 1804 to 1805. The General Assembly elected Mitchell Governor of Georgia in 1809, and reelected him again in 1811. Mitchell turned down the gubernatorial nomination in 1813, but accepted it in 1815, winning reelection to the governor’s office for a third term. During his tenure, improvements in banking amenities were instituted, transportation was improved, the state militia was fortified, and grants were provided for the University of Georgia. Legislation was enacted that banned dueling, and developments were advanced for roads and highway construction. Mitchell resigned from the governor’s office in 1817 to accept an appointment as U.S. Indian Agent to the Creek Indians. On March 4, 1821, he was released from his appointment after being falsely charged with slave smuggling. In 1836 he again served as a member of the Georgia Senate, and from 1828 to 1837 he served as a justice of the Inferior Court for Baldwin County. Governor David B. Mitchell died on April 22, 1837, and he is buried in Memory Hill Cemetery in Milledgeville, Georgia.
Cook, James F. Governors of Georgia, 1754-2004. 3d ed. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2005.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
This Day in Georgia History