What is the Denmark Vesey revolt in African American History?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Denmark Vesey rebellion was a rebellion that never got past the planning stages.  It was betrayed to white authorities before it could be put into action.  It resulted in the execution of 35 people who were said to have been particularly involved in its planning.

Denmark Vesey was a free black who lived in Charleston, South Carolina.  He had been a slave but had bought his freedom.  He was very active in the black church in Charleston.  It was largely due to the church that he came to plan a slave rebellion.

The church to which Vesey belonged had been harassed by the white authorities because it was seen to be too independent of white control.  This persecution angered Vesey.  He also felt that slavery in general was wrong and that God had called him to do something about it.

Vesey plotted to start a slave rebellion.  His rebellion was betrayed and he was arrested and executed.  The rebellion led South Carolina to pass laws that restricted the actions of black people even further.  For example, it prohibited slaves from meeting with one another for any purpose without white people present.  It also prohibited slaves from hiring themselves out to work and, thereby, make money. 

Vesey’s rebellion, then, was a failure in that it never got off the ground and in that it led to heightened restrictions on black activities.

Yojana_Thapa | Student

Denmark Vesey was a free slave who organized a plot to fight the white slave owners. Led a rebellion in Charleston. Betrayed by informers. 30 followers were hanged!! He led a slave uprising in Charleston, South Carolina. Denmark Vesey's plan was to attack the arsenals in Charleston and seize the weapons. During that uprising 130 black’s slaves were arrested and brought to trial. This created a fear in other slave owners who were scared that their slaves might rebel too.