Henry Laurens Mitchell
16th Governor of Florida
In office
January 3, 1893 – January 5, 1897
Preceded byFrancis P. Fleming
Succeeded byWilliam D. Bloxham
Personal details
Born(1831-09-03)September 3, 1831
near Birmingham, Alabama
DiedOctober 14, 1903(1903-10-14) (aged 72)
Tampa, Florida
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseMary Eugenia Spencer Mitchell

Henry Laurens Mitchell (September 3, 1831 – October 14, 1903) was an American lawyer, judge, and politician. He served as the 16th Governor of Florida (1893–1897).[1]

Mitchell was born near Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama. His family moved to Tampa when he was 15 years old. Mitchell studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1849 at the age of 18.[1]

When the American Civil War began, Mitchell resigned from his post as Florida Attorney General and enlisted in the Confederate States Army.[2] Mitchell was such a strong supporter of Southern nationalism that he had two members of his Masonic lodge expelled for fighting in the Union Army. In July 1863, Mitchell left the Confederate Army to take a seat in the Florida House of Representatives, to which he had been elected while serving. He was reelected after the war, in 1873 and 1875.[1] His brother Charles Mitchell later became the Florida Commissioner of Land and Immigration, the modern equivalent of the Commissioner of Agriculture.

In 1888, Mitchell was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court, serving as an associate justice until 1891, when he resigned to start campaigning for governor.[1] He won the election. During his term as governor, Mitchell was paid $3500 per year.

After he left office, Mitchell returned to Hillsborough County, where he was elected as clerk of the circuit court and subsequently county treasurer there.[1] He died in Tampa on October 14, 1903, and was buried at Oaklawn Cemetery.

In 1915, Henry Mitchell Elementary School opened and was named after him.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Henry Laurens Mitchell". Florida Department of State. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  2. ^ "Soldier Details". National Park Service. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
Party political offices Preceded byFrancis P. Fleming Democratic nominee for Governor of Florida 1892 Succeeded byWilliam D. Bloxham Political offices Preceded byFrancis P. Fleming Governor of Florida January 3, 1893 – January 5, 1897 Succeeded byWilliam D. Bloxham