Nat Turner’s Insurrection (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: A successful slave revolt sends fear through the Southern white community and prompts legislation prohibiting the assembly, education, and movement of plantation slaves.
Summary of Event
Although neither the first attempted slave rebellion nor the last during the more than two centuries of African American slavery, Nat Turner’s assault against the whites in southeastern Virginia marked the only time a group of black slaves banded together to strike successfully against their white masters. Turner, as far as is known, spent his entire life as a slave in his native Southampton County, where he had been born on October 2, 1800, on the plantation of Benjamin Turner. His mother was probably a native African, who taught him at an early age to believe that he possessed supernatural powers. He was both a mystic and oriented toward religion. In addition to possessing those traits, he could read, and historians have surmised that he learned this skill from the Turner family. Nat became a Christian through the instruction of his grandmother, Bridget, and mostly read the Bible. Perhaps because of his knowledge of the Bible, he became a Baptist preacher. Because of his mysticism, his ability to read, and his activities as a minister, Turner gained considerable influence over his fellow slaves.
Samuel Turner, Benjamin’s son, inherited Nat during times of economic depression in Virginia. A newly hired...
(The entire section is 1353 words.)
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