Richard Miller

Richard Miller was the son of an Indian mother and an enslaved father.  In the following excerpts, he describes two examples of violence.  The first is an example of an enslaved person being burned alive.  The second describes a former enslaved person defending himself after the KKK murdered his wife.
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He remembers a slave by the name of Brown, in Texas, who was chained hand and feet to a woodpile, oil thrown over him, and the wood, then fire set to the wood, and he was burned to death.

After the fire smoldered down, the white women and children took his ashes for souvenirs.

 . . . George Band was a very powerful slave, always ready to fight, never losing a fight, always able to defend himself until one night a band of Ku Kluxers came to his house, took his wife, hung her to a tree, hacked her to death with knives. Then went to the house, got George, took him to see what they had done to his wife. He asked them to let him go back to the house to get something to wrap his wife in, thinking he was sincere in his request, they allowed him to go. Instead of getting a wrapping for his wife, he got his Winchester rifle, shot and killed fourteen of the Kluxers. The county was never bothered with the Klan again. However, George left immediately for the North.

Formerly enslaved person
Birth Year (Age)Interviewer
WPA Volunteer
Enslaver’s Name
Richard Miller1843Sarah H. LockeUnknown
Interview LocationResidence StateBirth Location
Marion County, INIndianaDanville, KY
Themes & KeywordsAdditional Tags:
ViolenceThird person, witnessed extreme cruelty, Klan/mob violence