​August 21, 1831: Nat Turner’s Slave Rebellion Begins

2 Posted by - August 21, 2018 - BLACK MEN, LATEST POSTS, Looking Black On Today, Missing From Textbooks, Racism, SLAVERY

Nat Turner led black slaves and free black people into a full rebellion.

Nathaniel “Nat” Turner was a slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia that started on August 21, 1831. Turner gathered supporters in Southampton County, Virginia. This slave rebellion resulted in 60 white deaths. White people responded with at least 100 black deaths. 

Turner was eventually caught, convicted, sentenced to death and hanged. In the aftermath, the state executed 56 black people accused of being part of Turner’s slave rebellion. 200 black people were also beaten and killed by white militias and mobs reacting with violence.

Across Virginia and other southern states, state legislators passed new laws prohibiting education of slaves and free blacks, restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for free blacks, and requiring white ministers to be present at black worship services.

TURNER’S SLAVE REBELLION: On the night of August 21st, 8 days after Turner received the ‘final sign from God’, he and the rebels traveled from house to house, freeing slaves and killing all the white people they encountered. Because the rebels did not want to alert anyone, they discarded their muskets and used knives, hatchets, axes and blunt instruments instead of firearms (The latter also would have been more difficult for them to collect).

Historian Stephen B. Oates states that Turner called on his group to “Kill all the white people.”

A contemporary newspaper noted, “Turner declared that ‘indiscriminate slaughter was not their intention after they attained a foothold, and was resorted to in the first instance to strike terror and alarm.'” The group spared a few homes “because Turner believed the poor white inhabitants ‘thought no better of themselves than they did of negroes.'”
The rebels spared almost no one whom they encountered. A small child who hid in a fireplace was among the few survivors.

The slaves killed approximately 60 white men, women and children before Turner and his brigade of insurgents were defeated.

A white militia with twice the manpower of the rebels and reinforced by three companies of artillery eventually defeated the insurrection.

Read about the retaliation and aftermath at: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=621562418014841&substory_index=0&id=101575520013536

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