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John Mitchell.

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John Mitchell.

Mitchell was born in Dungiven Co Derry the son of a Presbyterian minister, after qualifying as a lawyer, he began to write for The Nation becoming its editor in 1847. His militant outlook led to conflict with more moderate nationalists, causing him to leave later that year.

He founded his own newspaper The United Irishman, experiencing the famine first hand, he exhorted the people to revolution. In May 1848 he was convicted of treason and sentenced to transportation. While on the ship he wrote his much acclaimed Jail Journal which was published in 1845, after his escape from Van Dieman's land the previous year.

He was active on the Confederate side in the American Civil War, and later was involved with the fenians in Paris.

Returning to Ireland in 1875, after first being disqualified as an un-discharged felon, was elected MP for Co Tipperary. He died shortly afterwards in Newry Co Down.

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