E. Belle Mitchell Jackson

E. Belle Jackson

1848- 1942

Eliza or Isabelle (Belle) Mitchell was born December 31 1848 in Perryville, KY and raised in Danville, KY. Her parents, Mary and Monroe Mitchell, purchased their freedom before her birth.  Belle became an abolitionist and the first African American teacher at Camp Nelson, with John G. Fee. Her work at Camp Nelson was cut short due to the prejudices of the American Missionary Association teachers on site.  Her co-workers were not against her teaching at the site, but refused to eat and sleep in the same area as “a woman of color”.  Due to the petition they circulated the Camp Commander as her to leave. After Camp Nelson she as invited to Lexington to teach at The Missionary Free School of Color.  She would go on to teach not just in Lexington, but also in Frankfort, Louisville, Nicholasville and Richmond. 

After her marriage to Jordon Jackson she became his biggest supporter.  Jordan was once quoted as saying she “was the best investment he ever made, and that he owed much of his success to her.” Beyond aiding her husband she also opened the only colored own milliners shop in Lexington.  She was one of the founders of the African American Orphan Industrial Home. She was actively involved with the Colored women's club movement.   She dedicated her life to the betterment of her community.  

Notable Black American Women, Book 2 edited by Jessie Carney Smith