MITCHELL, GEORGE, surveyor; date of birth unknown; d. 20 March 1755.
George Mitchell came to Nova Scotia in September 1732 as deputy to David Dunbar, surveyor of his majesty’s woods in America. Dunbar had been commissioned to enforce the White Pine Acts of 1711, 1712, and 1729, which prohibited the cutting of white pine, reserved for mast-making, on government lands. Following the instructions of Dunbar and the provincial lieutenant governor, Lawrence Armstrong*, Mitchell surveyed lands from Passamaquoddy to Cape Sable for stands of pine and mapped the Annapolis River basin. He also helped to oversee the construction of a road from Annapolis Royal to Minas, where he and several others had been granted a patent to recently discovered mines.
In 1737 Mitchell left Nova Scotia and subsequently served as surveyor with the commissioners from that province assigned to arbitrate a boundary dispute between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Erasmus James Philipps, an acquaintance of his in Nova Scotia, was one of the commissioners. Mitchell settled in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, married Sarah Taylor, raised a large family, served as master of the local Masonic lodge, and continued his surveying. Well connected with New Hampshire’s governing aristocracy – Governor Benning Wentworth was an old political associate of Dunbar’s – Mitchell became a justice of the Superior Court and received several land grants. But keeping up with the Wentworths proved too much for Mitchell. When he died suddenly in 1755, he was found to be insolvent.
New Hampshire Hist. Soc., St John’s Church (Portsmouth, N.H.), Records, 1738–73. New Hampshire State Archives (Concord), Court records, nos.8883, 22144, 27893, 27896; Probate records, XVI, 444–46; XIX, 413–17; XX, 474–75; XXI, 262. New Hampshire State Library (Concord), Portsmouth tax records, XIV, XVI (mfm copy). St John’s Lodge no.1 (Portsmouth, N.H.), Minute books, 1739–55; W. S. Adams, “George Mitchell, Esquire, first known master of a masonic lodge in the province of New Hampshire.”. New Hampshire, Provincial and state papers, published by the authority of the legislature of New Hampshire, ed. I. W. Hammond et al. (40v., Manchester, Concord, N.H., 1867–1943), XVII, XIX, XXIV, XXV, XXVIII, XXIX, XXXV. N.S. Archives, II; III. Bell, Foreign Protestants. Clark, Acadia. A map based on a 1733 survey of the Annapolis River basin, probably Mitchell’s, can be found as an appendix to Knox, Historical journal (Doughty), I.