Anna V. S. Mitchell

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Anna Mitchell

Anna V. S. Mitchell (1878-1966) was an American Red Cross worker in France during World War I, and afterwards among Russian refugees in Istanbul.

Early life[edit]

Anna Van Schaick Mitchell was the daughter of Clarence Green Mitchell, an attorney,[1] and Sarah Adams Lindley Mitchell. Her sister Lucy Lindley Mitchell married John Charles Molteno, Jr., a businessman and legislator in South Africa.[2] Her sister Caroline Green Mitchell Stokes[3] was married to Anson Phelps Stokes, and was the mother of Olivia Stokes Hatch and Anson Phelps Stokes, Jr.. Their grandfather Daniel Lindley was an American missionary in South Africa and founder of the Inanda Seminary School; their great-grandfather Jacob Lindley was first president of Ohio University.[4][5]


As a young woman, Anna V. Mitchell was known as an "accomplished pianist" and "active in settlement work in New York and London."[6]

During World War I Anna Mitchell went to France and Belgium with the American Red Cross. In 1916, she was at Monastir, working with Serbian refugees.[7][8] She founded a canteen at Châlons-sur-Marne with Margery Nott.[9] Her niece Mildred Mitchell and volunteer Margaret Hall worked with them.[10][11] She was also involved with post-war relief work in Calais.[12] She received a Croix de Guerre from the French government for her wartime work.[13]

In the 1920s she worked in Istanbul with Russian refugees, and as executive secretary to Admiral Mark Lambert Bristol.[13] Her correspondence with notable family connections helped with fundraising, but she also arranged for refugees to sell their handicrafts on passenger ships in the Black Sea.[14] In 1929, she and Alma Ruggles took leave to give lectures in the United States to raise awareness and funds for their continuing refugee work in Turkey.[15][16] Again during this effort, she used her family connections to create events such as a "program of Russian and gypsy songs and dances" at a Junior League meeting in New York City, cohosted by her sister and her sister-in-law, to raise funds for the Russian Refugee Children's Welfare Society.[17]

Anna Mitchell lived in Boston in the 1940s.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Anna V. S. Mitchell died in 1966, aged 88 years. One collection of her papers is held in the Hoover Institution Archives.[19] Other papers of Mitchell's, including diaries from the period 1896 through 1925, are in the Olivia Stokes Hatch Papers at Bryn Mawr College Library.[20]


  1. ^ Green-Mitchell Family Papers, Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan.
  2. ^ Lucy Lindley Mitchell Molteno, "How I Became a Woman Prospector", introduction by Robert Molteno (2013).
  3. ^ Anna V. S. Mitchell, Letter (2) to her sister Caroline Mitchell Stokes, My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I (Smithsonian National Postal Museum).
  4. ^ David M. Stowe, "Daniel Lindley" Dictionary of African Christian Biography (1998).
  5. ^ "The Amazing Sojourn of Lindley's Trunk" Global Ministries (February 14, 2012).
  6. ^ Junius B. Wood, "Idle Rich of Former Days Have Done Their Share in Winning War" Oregon Daily Journal (May 11, 1919): 4.via Newspapers.comopen access publication – free to read
  7. ^ Ernest P. Bicknell, "Recent Help for Serbians and Albanians" The American Red Cross Magazine (April 1916): 115-116.
  8. ^ "Mrs. Farwell Tells Her War Experiences" Chicago Tribune (May 3, 1916): 1, 10.
  9. ^ Junius B. Wood, "How Red Cross is Feeding American Soldiers in France" Red Cross Bulletin (September 25, 1917).
  10. ^ Jim Connolly, "'Not a Dream': A Portrait from Margaret Hall's World War I Memoir" Massachusetts Historical Society (July 2014).
  11. ^ Anna V. S. Mitchell, Letter (1) to her sister Caroline Mitchell Stokes (dated April 1, 1918), My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I (Smithsonian National Postal Museum).
  12. ^ "Helping Devastated France" La France: An American Magazine (February 1921): 210.
  13. ^ a b "Constantinople's Russians" New York Times (April 23, 1922): 105.
  14. ^ Robert Schenk, America's Black Sea Fleet: The U.S. Navy Amidst War and Revolution, 1919 1923 (Naval Institute Press 2017). ISBN 9781612513027
  15. ^ Lucille Saunders, "Americans Need Aid in Work of Mercy" New York Times (February 16, 1930): 60.
  16. ^ Priscilla Ring, "American Women Get Homes for 58,200 White Russians" Brownsville Herald (November 29, 1929): 19. via Newspapers.comopen access publication – free to read
  17. ^ "To Offer Russian Program" New York Times (April 22, 1930: 34.
  18. ^ Untitled society item, Berkshire Eagle (May 12, 1945): 12. via Newspapers.comopen access publication – free to read
  19. ^ Anna V. S. Mitchell Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford California.
  20. ^ Olivia Stokes Hatch Papers, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.

External links[edit]