Lynching of Amos Miller

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Lynching of Amos Miller
LocationWilliamson County Courthouse, Franklin, Tennessee, U.S.
Coordinates35°55′29″N 86°52′08″W / 35.92472°N 86.86889°W / 35.92472; -86.86889Coordinates: 35°55′29″N 86°52′08″W / 35.92472°N 86.86889°W / 35.92472; -86.86889
DateAugust 10, 1888
about 10 a.m.
Attack type
VictimsAmos Miller

Williamson County Courthouse, where Miller was lynched

Amos Miller was a 23-year-old African-American man who was lynched from the balcony of the Williamson County Courthouse in Franklin, Tennessee, on August 10, 1888.


Miller was accused of raping Mrs. Scott, a 50-year-old white woman, near Santa Fe[1] in Maury County on June 9[2] or 10, 1888.[3] Miller worked as a farmhand on the Scott farm in Maury County; the Scotts had a daughter.[2] Miller, who was 23 years old, was described by The Daily American as "a heavy-built, very dark negro".[2]

Miller was arrested on June 16 at the home of Marshal Roberts, where he allegedly tried to steal a hat after he had lost his.[1] Miller reportedly confessed to the assault, and was jailed in Columbia.[2] On the same day, a mob threatened to lynch him.[2] As a result, he was transferred to the jail in Franklin on June 17, but once again, a mob threatened to lynch him.[2] He was transferred to a third location: the Davidson County Jail in Nashville.[2]

Miller's trial was postponed twice because of these threats.[2] On August 9, one day before the trial, a mob came from Maury County to Franklin.[2] The next morning, some of the mob were in the public square, others on horseback, and others in the courthouse.[2] Miller was taken to Franklin by train and entered the courthouse.[2] His lawyers asked to change the location of the trial or postpone it again, but Judge McAlister rejected this and decided to continue the proceedings.[2]

During the trial, a mob of 40 men entered the courthouse and, with other men who were already in the building, forced Miller out of the room.[2] The men proceeded to hang Miller from the railings of the courthouse balcony at about 10 am.[4][5][6]

Law enforcement reportedly were unable to identify the lynchers "notwithstanding the fact that not one of the mob was disguised".[3]


  1. ^ a b "A Rape Fiend Captured". The Daily American. Nashville, Tennessee. June 17, 1888. p. 6. Retrieved May 15, 2018 – via
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Swift-Meted Justice. The Most Daring Lynching Bee Ever Recorded. Amos Miller Taken from the Franklin Court-House. During the Progress of His Trial in Daytime and Hanged to a Pillar of the Temple of Justice". The Daily American. Nashville, Tennessee. August 11, 1888. p. 3. Retrieved May 15, 2018 – via
  3. ^ a b "Amos Miller". Savannah Courier. Savannah, Tennessee. August 16, 1888. p. 2. Retrieved May 15, 2018 – via
  4. ^ "Hanged by a Mob". The Pulaski Citizen. Pulaski, Tennessee. August 16, 1888. p. 4. Retrieved May 15, 2018 – via
  5. ^ "Amos Miller". The Leaf-Chronicle. Clarksville, Tennessee. August 14, 1888. p. 1. Retrieved May 15, 2018 – via
  6. ^ Berger, Paul (December 20, 2014). "Midnight in Tennessee – The Untold Story of the First Jewish Lynching in America". Haaretz. Retrieved May 15, 2018. In 1888, Amos Miller, a black man accused of raping a white woman, was dragged from court in Franklin and hung from the courthouse railings.