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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Union Man: 1938

Union Man: 1938

June 1938. Memphis, Tennessee. "H.L. Mitchell, Secretary of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union. Union headquarters." Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Probably appreciated

I don't know how many ex-slaves he met 90 years after the Civil War, but I imagine it took some courage ride into a town and try to organize sharecroppers in that time.

Very Handsome

This was one handsome, well put together man. Striking, even.

Initial reaction

That can't be a really good negotiation opener, to say "I'm Harry Leland Mitchell from the STFU."

Especially if you're addressing the Wyoming Teamsters Fund.

Work with me, Harry

OK, now, look noble. No, that's more confused than noble. Try again. Well, now you look kind of quizzical. look upwards toward this corner of the ceiling. Now give me a little bit of a worried look. No, not that worried -- we're not getting shot at dawn. Just a little concerned and pensive. No, keep looking toward that corner. OK, well, I guess that's the best we can do. Thanks.

Harry Leland Mitchell 1906–1989

Quite an interesting fellow with a long career in labor organizing -- lived until 1989. His entry in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

Kicking back, on a break...

Yep, he's a union man alright.

Handsome and Misunderstood

If I had known this guy, I would have fallen head over heels in love with him, I just know it. Probably was "hard on the outside and soft on the inside" and who could resist that combination, plus that Kennedy hair and visage? His eyes show intelligence and pain.

Sharecroppers vs movies

Mitchell is indeed photogenic, and he knows it a bit too well. I'll bet his movie-star looks weren't appreciated by the dirt-poor sharecroppers and ex-slaves he was supposed to organize.

Handsome Guy

Wow! At first glance, I thought that was a young John Kennedy. Love the socks.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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