The Shaping Gabriel 's Rebellion Essay

The Shaping Gabriel 's Rebellion Essay

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The Shaping Gabriel’s Rebellion
Gabriel’s Rebellion was a planned revolt in August of 1800, headed by Gabriel Prosser. Gabriel was a highly skilled, literate and intimidating slave who worked as a laborer in the city of Richmond. His plan was to overthrow the city of Richmond, attacking the city’s three main buildings; the Capital, Magazine and Penitentiary. Although Gabriel’s Rebellion was unsuccessful, the growth of Richmond at the turn of the eighteenth century was influenced by “hiring out” slaves from plantation owners and the rise in population and mobility for these blacks. Although a failure, all these things were influential in the historical events of which Gabriel’s Rebellion.
As Virginia and its plantations thrived from the work of slaves in the field, small “urban functions” of towns on the outskirts of these plantations were the only relatively centralized towns at the time. Towns such as Norfolk, Fredericksburg and Richmond eventually became established cities within themselves. Richmond in particular blossomed, from its centralized location, transformation into the state capital status, and growing population of just under six thousand residents (half black and a fifth of them free blacks). Richmond was quickly becoming a hub for transporting goods both from the rural plantations to a centralized location. As well as up and down the coast to major cities such as Charleston and New Orleans. “Towns like Richmond were extensions of Virginia’s biggest plantations” . Many free people moved to Richmond with the idea of a better life that awaited them in comparison to what they had been accustom to in the countryside. This influx of popularity to Richmond was a direct reflection of the town’s demand for labor...


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...th August prevented to carrying the said plan into Execution”. Although rumors had been made to the combination of weather and of the two slaves who gave away the proposed revolt to their master. Much can be made of all this regardless of the failed outcome. The events to which were taking place in the summer months of eighteen hundred were direct reflections of the way slaves were being used and reality that such a revolt was possible. The laws that follow in the future years were a direct reflection of what Gabriel’s Rebellion had brought to the table. “Expel those negroes from the town, and prohibiting their entering except in the day, to be admitted at a certain hour and depart in such a time”. As Richmond did greatly benefit economically the way of life for slaves was about to change greatly from what they had been experiencing the last couple of years.

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