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Nat Turner

Nat TurnerAKA Nathaniel Turner

Born: 2-Oct-1800
Birthplace: Southampton County, VA
Died: 11-Nov-1831
Location of death: Jerusalem, VA
Cause of death: Execution [1]
Remains: Missing

Gender: Male
Religion: Baptist
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Occupation: Military

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Nat Turner's Rebellion

The leader of a slave insurrection in Virginia, known as the "Southampton Insurrection", or more frequently, "Nat Turner's Rebellion." He was born in Southampton county, Virginia, in 1800. From his childhood he claimed to see visions and hear voices, and he became a Baptist preacher of great influence among the black slaves. Unlike most blacks of the time, Turner was literate. In 1828 he confided to a few companions that a voice from heaven had announced that "the last shall be first", which was interpreted to mean that the slaves should control. An insurrection was planned, and a solar eclipse in February 1831 and peculiar atmospheric conditions on the 13th of August were accepted as the signal for beginning the work. On the night of the 21st of August 1831, with seven companions, he entered the home of his master, Joseph Travis, and murdered the residents. After securing guns, horses and liquor they visited other houses, sparing no one. Recruits were added, in some cases by compulsion, until the band numbered about sixty. About noon on the 22nd they were scattered by a small force of whites, hastily gathered. Troops, marines and militia were hurried to the scene, and all participants were hunted down. In all thirteen men, eighteen women, and twenty-four children had been murdered. After hiding for six weeks Nat was captured on the 30th of October and was tried and hanged, having made, meanwhile, a full confession. Nineteen of his associates were hanged and twelve were sent out of the state. The insurrection, which was attributed to the teachings of the abolitionists, led to the enactment of stricter slave codes.

[1] Hanged, flayed, beheaded, and quartered.

    Born into Slavery
    Escaped from Slavery
    Castrated (11-Nov-1831), unproven
    Corpse Quartered postmortem
    Ghanaian Ancestry

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