Mitchell, Isaac Newton (1810–1853)

By: Jeff Carroll

Type: Biography

Published: April 1, 1995

Isaac Mitchell, plantation owner and military scout, was born in 1810 in Sumpter County, Alabama. He moved to Texas in 1838 and purchased land near that of W. G. L. Foley in the Hallett settlement in the area that became Lavaca County. There he built a home and developed a plantation. In 1840 he rallied with his neighbors to repel an Indian attack and then joined Col. John S. Moore's expedition against the Comanches on the upper Colorado River. In March 1842 Mitchell, in company with Hendrick Arnold (a free black), William Morrison, Stewart Foley, Joshua Threadgill, John Henry Brown, and others, served as a scout for John C. Hays's troops opposing Rafael Vásquez. Later, after Adrián Woll's San Antonio attack, Mitchell was elected captain of a company of forty volunteers from Lavaca County. With his men he joined the Somervell expedition and in December 1842 was instrumental in constructing a bridge across the flooded Nueces River so that the expedition could cross. In obedience to an order from the Texas Congress, Mitchell withdrew with his company from Guerrerro and returned to Lavaca County in February 1843. On July 27, 1843, he married Mary A. Kerr, the daughter of James Kerr and cousin of John Henry Brown. They had a son, Joseph D. Mitchell. Their plantation prospered; in 1846 they owned thirty slaves. In 1853 Mitchell was accidentally killed by his own gun while on a turkey hunt near his summer residence on Lavaca Bay.

Paul C. Boethel, Colonel Amasa Turner, the Gentleman from Lavaca, and Other Captains at San Jacinto (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1963). Paul C. Boethel, Sand in Your Craw (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1959). Joseph Milton Nance, Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964).
Time Periods:
  • Antebellum Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Jeff Carroll, “Mitchell, Isaac Newton,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995