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White Man Tried for Marrying a Colored Woman

Moorsville, Floyd County, Indiana
July 1875 - From: The Courier-Journal

      There is a law in Indiana (1875) prohibiting the intermarriage of white and colored persons, under penalty of imprisonment in the State penitentiary for not less than one nor more than ten years, and a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000. Another section of the penal code makes it the same crime, with the same punishment, for any person to aid or abet in the commission of the act
     Some weeks since, a German named John Angili Miller, residing in Moorsville, Floyd county, Indiana, was married to a Negro woman named Mary Sims. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Jesse Bass, pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church, the leading colored church of New Albany. The License was issued to the parties by Clark county Clerk, it is not stated on what representations.
     Yesterday afternoon the Grand Jury of Floyd county found a true bill for the crime named against Miller and Bass. The Sheriff and Chief of Police went out to Moorsville and found Miller at his home, in the company with his Negro wife, and placed him under arrest. The woman was much alarmed, and begged the officers not to take the husband away from her. Miller was then brought to New Albany and placed in jail. At the insistence of the Prosecuting Attorney, Judge Smith had fixed Miller's bail at $2,500, which, being unable to give, he was still in jail at a late hour last night.
     Afterward the Rev. Bass was arrested on the street by the Deputy Sheriff, and also taken to jail. His bond was made at $500, which he had not obtained up to 9 o'clock last night.

2002 UEB

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