Maggie Mitchell first appeared onstage playing children, and achieved her first real success as the star of Oliver Twist. Small, agile, and energetic, Mitchell specialized in roles that showed off her talent for piquant comedy. She traveled widely and earned an especially faithful following in the South. In 1860, Mitchell appeared in New Orleans in a new play, Fanchon, the Cricket, adapted for her from a novel by George Sand. The role of Fanchon, an elfin outcast saved by a rich young man, became her signature until she retired from the stage in the 1880s. As manager of her own successful company, Mitchell was intense, hardworking, and severe. Brady photographed her in New York around 1862, when Mitchell first brought Fanchon to that city.

Margaret Julia "Maggie" Mitchell
1832 - 1918
Mathew Brady Studio
Albumen silver print
(carte de visite), circa 1862
9 x 5.3 cm (3 9/16 x 2 1/8 inches)
National Portrait Gallery,
Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C.;
gift of Claire Kaland