Stono Rebellion (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: Open violence triggers other slave insurrections and forces white settlers to cooperate to prevent additional uprisings.
Summary of Event
Conditions in South Carolina in the 1730’s led to white fear of slave uprisings. The high numbers of Africans imported through Charles Town port led to legislation against Africans congregating, holding meetings, and appearing in public after night hours. Charles Town had a watch committee to guard the port city, and the rest of the colony had a white patrol system to police Africans in militia districts. South Carolina used public punishment as a deterrent.
Contrary to their intent, these white controls increasingly led to greater resistance from newly imported Africans. Cases of verbal insolence joined arson as a recurring feature of colonial life. Whites blamed illnesses and deaths on African knowledge of plants and their poisonous powers. In the 1730’s, massive importations from the Congo-Angola region meant that more than half of the colony’s slaves had been there fewer than ten years. Slave unrest was blamed on outside agitators—Native Americans with assistance from both the Spanish and French. Rumors of a Spanish invasion increased after the Spanish king granted liberty to African fugitive slaves in 1733.
Tension thus was high in 1739. Then, a smallpox epidemic, coupled with the escape of slaves to Spanish Florida, led to...
(The entire section is 1452 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!