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The Lynching of William Miller - Brighton, AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member hoteltwo
N 33° 25.808 W 086° 57.074
16S E 504533 N 3698974
Quick Description: William Miller was lynched in 1908 after he was accused of bombing the home of a man named Finley Fuller. The black coal miner was taken from the Brighton jai and hungl. The dynamite explosion was set by whites trying to thwart unionization.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 1/31/2017 2:00:39 PM
Waymark Code: WMV07A
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 2

Long Description:
Marker text:

On this spot in August 1908, a group of white men took William Miller from his Brighton, Alabama jail cell in the middle of the night and lynched him in the woods nearby. Mr. Miller a black leader advocating for better labor conditions in the coal mines when he was arrested on false charges of violence. Coal mining in Alabama began with the use of slave labor in the 1840s. The industry boomed in the late 1800s as Birmingham became "The Magic City," but after slavery was abolished, coal companies’ success depended on the labor of black workers forced into bondage through convict leasing, a notorious scheme where tens of thousands of black people were arrested for trivial “offenses” and then “leased” to private companies who worked them mercilessly. In Jefferson County, leased convicts and poorly paid black miners posed a threat to white laborers seeking higher pay. and there were efforts to organize labor unions. Despite the workers’ common interests, the sight of formerly enslaved people challenging labor practices represented a threat to the existing racial hierarchy that many whites would not tolerate. Mr. Miller's lynching was an act of racial terror intended to discourage challenges to the existing racial order in Alabama's industrial and agricultural economies.
Marker Name: The Lynching of William Miller

Marker Type: Urban

Addtional Information::
Erected by the Equal Justice Initiative and the City of Brighton.


Date Dedicated / Placed: 12/13/15

Marker Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Alabama history please include that in your log.
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