We Don’t Talk About “Slavery”

Air Force Veteran, Fred Miller, Unknowingly Buys Plantation where Ancestors were Slaves Before Emancipation.

Taylor Ellison
4 min readMay 23, 2022


I may have discovered the neatest story, swelling my American history-loving heart. Initially, 60 Minutes is where I discovered the story and I went down the rabbit hole to find information to satisfy my every question.

Come along with me to Sharswood Plantation.

Sharswood Plantation has the cutest, white, 2640 sq. ft. home with obvious 19th Century charm as the curb appeal. The real story is held on the ten-acre plantation, where countless slaves lived and worked before the U.S. Emancipation in 1863.

On the well-preserved plantation, sits a small house, dating back to the late 18th Century. Likely the most important component of the plantation are the unmarked graves of eight slaves, one being that of an infant.

Fred Miller bought the former slave plantation and 1820, five-bedroom, two-bathroom home from a family that owned the property for more than 100 years. The strange part is that Fred did not know this was a former plantation.

If you’re like me, you may be asking- how can you buy a home without knowing it’s history?

First, Fred’s family saw the property was being sold. Since his large family lived within a close distance, they encouraged him to buy the home for family gatherings and to live closer.

Fred’s sister said, “We wanted him to have a large home for family gatherings.” She later said this experience has changed her.

It wasn’t until after Fred Miller moved into his home and his sister’s curiosity in the home’s history led her down the path to realize her family’s connection.

Based on Fred’s sister’s extensive research, Sarah Miller, was one of the first children born on the plantation, outside of slavery in 1868.

Did you catch that name? Miller.

Sarah Miller’s granddaughter was living in 2020 and is the grandmother of Fred Miller. Sarah’s granddaughter and Fred’s grandmother, has been able to tell the family about the great-great grandmother that once lived on Sharswood Plantation.

Sarah’s mother, Violet Miller, the slave in which this story is based, had three children, Sarah being the youngest and the only child born outside of slavery.



Taylor Ellison

Happily divorced, single mom, reviewing books and managing a Bookstagram account as if people actually care about what I have to say. Posting weekly.