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Author’s note: I grew up hearing stories about a maternal great uncle who died young following an arrest for some minor offense. As an adult, I hadn’t thought much about his story until earlier this year. While hunkered down in quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak, a cousin texted a photograph and a newspaper clipping to me and asked if I knew who the man was, or anything about what had happened to him. The photograph was of our great uncle, Richard Audell Clift, and the clipping was about his death. Reading about his death made me realize that there was so much about his story that I did not know; and so I began to research. My generation is probably the last one that may have any connection to him, and even that is only tangentially through stories I heard from my parents and grandmother, who was his sister-in-law. He died for a fine of $11.75. His story deserves to be told and remembered, and is especially fitting at a time in which our society is calling for changes within established systems of law and justice.

Publication Title

The Heritage: Hot Spring County, Arkansas Historical Society, Volume XLVII

Publisher Statement

Lisa Speer © 2020



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