American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Possibly the Earliest Mountain Fatality

  • Notes
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1930

Possibly the earliest mountain fatality in the United States, was that of Elisha Mitchell in 1857. While exploring the mountains of North Carolina, he was killed by a fall from a precipice. It was in his honor that Mt. Mitchell (6,711 ft.) was named. He was state surveyor and was the first to announce that these peaks are the highest east of the Mississippi River, not of the Rockies, as is so often stated. Harney Peak (7,242 ft.) in the Black Hills of South Dakota possesses that distinction. Dr. Mitchell was born in Litchfield county, Connecticut, in 1793 and later became professor of chemistry and mathematics in the University of North Carolina. It is interesting to note that he was also a Doctor of Divinity.

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