Champion Miller 1860 Fund

“No man in Monmouth more respected.”

Named in honor​ of one of Monmouth’s distinguished citizens, the Champion Miller 1860 Fund supports several initiatives, including: lectures; student​​ programming; support for recruiting a diverse student body, faculty and staff; and diversity training for the campus community.

Who was Champion Miller?

​​​Born a slave, Champion Miller came to Monmouth from Kentucky and purchased his freedom in December 1848 for $600 (the equivalent of $19,740 in 2020).

Miller learned to read and write while attending the Monmouth Theological Society. Although never formally enrolled at Monmouth College, Miller was taught by William T. Moffet, who attended the seminary from 1858-60.

After he had established himself in Monmouth, Miller traveled to Missouri to purchase freedom his wife for $800 ($26,300 in 2020 dollars) and one son for $400 ($13,160). His enslaved daughter was sold just prior to the Civil War, and the Millers were unable to locate her. Champion’s son died serving the Union in the Civil War.

Champion died on June 9, 1882, at his Monmouth home. He and his wife are buried in Monmouth.

In a memorial tribute to Miller, the Monmouth Atlas wrote of him:

Here he lived an upright honorable Christian life, so that it had been said of him since his death that no man in Monmouth more respected.

And the life of this humble Black man, no less than that of the good whom death snatches from the high places of earth, has a lesson for the living.

How many of the names blazoned in history would be found if their owners had begun life without title to their own bodies?

To help build a more equitable Monmouth and honor the life of one of our most Noble Scots, you can make a gift to the Champion Miller 1860 Fund.

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