One of the Most Violent Slave Rebellions in American History

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Nat Turner was born into slavery, in South Hampton County, on October 2nd, 1800. He was a preacher that believed he was sent to lead people out of slavery. On August 21st, 1831, he led one of the most violent slave rebellions in American history. After six weeks in hiding, he was caught and hung for the atrocities carried out under his direction. The purpose of his rebellion was to help end slavery, but the results the slaves faced were the complete opposite.

He was born on the Virginia plantation of Benjamin Turner. On his plantation he was allowed to be taught how to read, write, and learned about religion. Turner claimed that as a child he was able to describe things that happened before he was born, resulting in people claiming that “he surely would be a prophet” (Gray). Turner worked on many different plantations before his rebellion. In 1821, he ran away from Samuel Turner’s plantation, only to return thirty days later after he received a sign from god that he would need to retaliate against his owners (Oates). After Samuel Turner’s death, Nat was sent to live with Thomas Moore. Soon after, Moore died, so Turner was left with his widow, who later married John Travis. After his widowed owner married Travis, she moved Nat to work on Travis’s plantation, where Turner would soon plan his rebellion.

Turner truly believed that he was a prophet of God. In 1825, Turner had a premonition from God of a forthcoming bloody conflict between black and white spirits (The Legacy of Nat Turner 1801-1831). Three years later, he received what he believed to be another message from God. Turner claimed, "The Spirit instantly appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke, he had borne for the sins of m...

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...e is little known about Nat Turner, he is one of the most heroic men in early American history. His bravery, in leading the Rebellion, showed the desperateness of the slaves in desiring the end of slavery. The rebellion may have caused stricter laws on slaves, but ultimately it was the right step in gaining slaves freedom.

Works Cited

Oates, Stephen. The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion. New York: HarperCollins, 1990. Print.

Gray, R. Thomas. The Confessions of Nat Turner. Baltimore: Lucas & Deaver, 1831. Print. Available online:

Styron, William. The Confessions of Nat Turner. New York: Random House, 1967. Print.

“The Legacy of Nat Turner 1801-1831.” YouTube. YouTube. 21 Sep. 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2014

Aptheker, Herbert. Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion. New York: Grove Press, 1968. Print.
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