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The mayhem of the Atlanta Race Riot occurred over four days in September 1906 when Mitchell was five years old.
prompting an angry mob of 10,000 to assemble in the streets.
There they learned that Irish Americans were not treated as equal to other immigrants, and that it was shameful to be a daughter of an Irishman.
Margaret's relationship with her grandmother would become quarrelsome in later years as she entered adulthood.
Her grandfather, Russell Crawford Mitchell, of Atlanta, enlisted in the Confederate States Army on June 24, 1861 and served in Hood's Texas Brigade.
At the bottom of Jackson Hill was an area of African American homes and businesses called "Darktown".
Mitchell's maternal great-grandfather Philip Fitzgerald emigrated from Ireland, and eventually settled on a slaveholding plantation near Jonesboro, Georgia, where he had one son and seven daughters with his wife, Elenor.
Mitchell's grandparents, married in 1863, were Annie Fitzgerald and John Stephens, who had also emigrated from Ireland and was a Captain in the Confederate States Army.
However, for Margaret, her grandmother was a great source of "eye-witness information" about the Civil War and Reconstruction in Atlanta prior to her death in 1934.
In an accident that was traumatic for her mother although she was unharmed, when little Margaret was about three years old, her dress caught fire on an iron grate.