“The Black Satchel”

“The Black Satchel” is a collection of family documents that have been passed down through four generations of Millers.  The satchel originated with Harrison (Hiram) Miller, my grandfather, and a brother of Nelson Miller who, as Gustave Blair, convinced a jury he was in fact the child kidnapped in 1874, Charley Ross. Hiram presented himself as an attorney in St. Paul, MN, and is believed to have provided “lawyerly” advice and strategy to boost Gustave Blair’s legal case against the siblings of Charley Ross. It’s possible Hiram wrote and recorded signatures on the affidavits from supposed witnesses intended to be used in Nelson’s (as Gustave Blair) trial to be recognized as Charley Ross in 1939. Included in the satchel, among many other documents, are sworn affidavits attesting to Gustave Blair’s claim, a tintype of Charley Ross, two pages of births and deaths from the Miller family Bible, the beginning of a book written by Hiram about the kidnapping and this . . .

the Miller patriarch’s confession of murder!

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