southampton county virginia

185 Years Ago Today - Nat Turner’s Slave Revolt

In Southampton County, Virginia, on August 21-22, 1831, Nat Turner, a brilliant minister and moody slave, led the first slave revolt of magnitude. The revolt was crushed, but only after Turner and his band had killed some sixty whites and threw the South into panic. After hiding out, Turner was captured on October 30, 1831, and hanged in Jerusalem, Virginia, on November 11. Thirty other blacks were also implicated and executed. It was not until John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in 1859 that another slave revolt or conspiracy became known.

Teach the babies that there was a time when we had our minds, when we had sense, when we knew that we didn’t deserve to be under other people’s domination. Maybe, just maybe, the children will do better than we have.

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1831 The Nat Turner Rebellion In Southampton County, Virginia
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On August 21, 1831, one of the largest slave revolts in the history of the United States began: the Nat Turner Rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. The drawing shows Nat Turner preaching in the forest.

Via Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - New York Office

Early Slave Rebellions: Many Black slave rebellions and insurrections took place in North America during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Of those documented, there is evidence of more than 250 slave uprisings or attempted uprisings involving ten or more slaves. Three of the best known in the United States are the revolts by Gabriel Prosser in Virginia in 1800, Denmark Vesey in Charleston, South Carolina in 1822, and Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831. The 1811 German Coast Uprising, which took place outside of New Orleans in 1811, involved up to 500 slaves. It was suppressed by volunteer militias and a detachment of the United States Army. They killed 66 black men in the battle, executed 16, and 17 escaped and/or were killed along the way to freedom. Slave resistance in the South did not gain academic or popular attention until the 1940s when historian Herbert Aptheker started publishing the serious research on the subject, stressing how rebellions were rooted in the exploitative conditions of Southern slavery.

For more info, search: 1811 German Coast Uprising, Nat Turner Rebellion, Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vesey,   Herbert Aptheker