Nat Turner was born with extraordinary talents and astonished everyone surrounding with that charm. Nat spent most of his time praying and preaching to others “devoting himself to fasting” (27). Sometimes he was so into his prayer and meditation that he would go days without eating. He was a preacher that believed God chose him to lead blacks to freedom. Nat preached to his fellow African Americans about his visions. As time passed by he began to have bloody visions which lead him having his own praise meetings and congregations warning to other slaves about his visions. He cried out to show how other slaves felt inside as pain and hurt. He dearly wanted to make whites feel and experience the same. Moreover, he felt as if his insurrection would
The history of Nat Turners slave rebellion is undoubtedly enthralling to historians and literary masters alike. It took place on August 31, 1831 in Mr. Turner’s hometown of Southampton County, Virginia. Nat was 21 years old when he started the revolt, but he began plotting long before. Despite his young age, his people saw him as a man of deep religion and a prophet that would make great things happen for them. The murder of 60 white southerners should not be considered great, but the slaves of Southampton County knew that this rebellion would strike a fear in the eyes of slaveholders that they hoped would work to their advantage. Due to the fact that Mr. Turner felt his chosen religion co...
..., killing approximately fifty to sixty white southerners. They marched to their way to Jerusalem, killing every white folk they encountered in their path. Later, Nat Turner was executed and with his surviving followers. At a young age, surrounding adult that were in Nat Turner’s life thought he would become something great, a prophet. They were all baffled, especially his mother over his brilliance. His master also took noticed which he solely supported his brilliance and encouraged it such taking him into religious masses and activities. In the book, The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion, Turner’s background and personality, the environment in Southampton County, Virginia, and the increasing friction between the slaves and the white southerners caused Nat Turner into the leadership of a fight for freedom which later on produced a horrific aftermath.
While attending Junior High and High school in Washington, DC I was presented with the stories of Nat Turner. But never were the stories or leanings so harsh. I learned that Nat Turner organized and set in motion a one night slaying of slave masters and their families. I was taught that the murder count was only a few dozen. But upon reading the article from "The Confessions of Nat Turner", an article by Thomas R. Gray from an interview with Nat Turner, I was astounded by the events that had happened. There was no slaying, it was a one night "massacre" led by Nat Turner. The murders on the quiet night of August 22, 1831 in Southampton, Virginia was organized by a man who was possessed, had no clue how to use his power of persuasion, and whose actions I totally disagree with.
This book is about Nat Turner a slave who helped start a rebellion against slave owners. Nat Turner was seemed so unique to his fellow slaves when he was young, around 4 or 5, he was bright-eyed and quick to learn, he was brilliant and had an extraordinary imagination; he said that God gave him an amazing ability or recollection because he knew about something that had happened before he was born without being told about it. Everyone thought he was "intended for some great purpose." He easily learned how to read and write. Nat turner was intelligent and respectful, very religious, understood the bible, hard worker, "prophet", a leader. What Turner's rebellion came to symbolize for southern slaves The revolt had a profound impact on Southern attitudes towards the "peculiar institution" of slavery. For many southerners it exploded the myth that the slave population was either content or at least congenitally unable to rebel against their inferior status. For other southerners the revolt confirmed in their mind the discontent of slaves and the ever-present menace of rebellion that could topple the southern socio-economic system.
Published in 1975 by Harper Perennial, The Fires of Jubilee by Stephan Oates explores the personality of Nat Turner and the events which lead up to his leadership of the Virginian slave revolt of 1831 (Oates 4, 126). Young Nat was born into slavery in 1800, but, due to his precocity, he was early lead to believe in the probability, nee inevitability, of his eventual freedom (11-16). However, things were not to be so simple for him. Disease, death, and the vicissitudes of fortune all converged to cause Nat to remain a slave in the hands of several different owners. Of a highly introspective, superstitious nature, Nat chaffed at and brooded extensively on his circumstances – longing for freedom (24-32). Seeking an outlet for his intelligence
Violence was an integral part of the institution of slavery as it was used to oppress slaves and instill fear into them. It was very normal for white slave owners to “punish” a slave for displeasing their master. Yet when represented in Nat Turner’s “Confessions” as part of the revolt, violence is a barbaric, uncivilized and animalistic action that has no comprehensible justification, or at least not when committed by the negro population to their beloved and caring masters. The fundamental skew in views in the document is one of white bias, of course, thanks to Thomas R. Gray, the man behind the curtain, the one who is supposedly quoting Turner’s confessions word for word, who tailors Turner’s words in a fashion that demonizes Turner and the slaves involved in the revolt more than necessary for the already heinous atrocities they’re responsible for.
The point that I am trying to prove with my historical investigation is: How did Nat Turner’s rebellion lead to the commencement of the Civil War in the United States thirty years after the insurrection took place. In order to answer this, one must comprehend why the Southampton Insurrection occurred, the influence it left on people and the history of the United States, and the reasons as to why the Civil War was fought. After extensive research, two of my most valuable sources I used were Scot French’s historical book The Rebellious Slave Nat Turner in American Memory and the Rebecca Vaughan House’s project on Nat Turner/1831 Southampton Insurrection Trial & restoration of the Rebecca Vaughan House, located on the Museum of Southampton History.
Nat Turner was born on October 2, 1800 in Southampton County, VA to enslaved parents. He ran away from his master at 21 years old for religious reasons. Then, he traveled as a minister and spoke to slaves. On August 22, 1831, he killed his owners. He and a band of other slaves went on killing whites, and he was captured in 1831. There, he was hung and skinned.
By 1790 slavery was on the decline in America. Apart from tobacco, rice, and a special strain of cotton that could be grown only in very few places, the South really had no money crop to export. Tobacco was a land waster, depleting the soil within very few years. Land was so cheap that tobacco planters never bothered to reclaim the soil by crop rotation -- they simply found new land farther west. The other crops -- rice, indigo, corn, and some wheat -- made for no great wealth. Slaves cost something, not only to buy but to maintain, and some Southern planters thought that conditions had reached a point where a slave's labor no longer paid for his care. Eli Whitney came to the south in 1793, conveniently enough, during the time when Southern planters were in their most desperate days. In a little over a week, he started the biggest avalanche of production that any economy had ever experienced. The South would never be the same again.