History of Nat Turner

Topics: Nat Turner

Being enslaved all of my life I began to get tired of doing work for some man who treats his animals better than me. It is crazy how I am traded and considered little to nothing in a land they consider all men free. I guess I am not a man, I am a form of animal droppings to them that can carry fourth manual labor, that they rather not do. I feel as if a group of slaves and I should carry forth a revolt.

We are tired of doing such strenuous work and being treated so poorly. I am Nat Turner, a slave born on October 2, 1800. I was born on the plantation farm owned by Benjamin Turner in Virginia. Mr. Turner gave me the opportunity to have an education such as knowing the knowing to read, write, and develop an understanding for religion during my time with him. I’ve also seen some things that aren’t right, the mistreatment of my people, we’ve endured these harsh punishments for such a long period of time I think I will have to plan a way to get through to the people.

In the 1820s Nat Turner was considered the leader of the slaves through his preachings that he did across Southampton County in Virginia. Through his wise words, he was able to be an example to many people who would late become on become his supporters. Turner had four trusted men, they were Henry, Hark, Nelson, and Sam. These men listened to Turner whenever he had a vision or a new plan.

Get quality help now
Sweet V

Proficient in: Nat Turner

4.9 (984)

“ Ok, let me say I’m extremely satisfy with the result while it was a last minute thing. I really enjoy the effort put in. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Turner was an extremely smart and religious man, throughout Turner’s life he had four major visions. These visions all led to his attack on the white men and women surrounding him. His first vision was when he had escaped his master for 30 days, in this vision God told him to go back and work for his earthly master. Meaning while he’s doing his God for his heavenly master, he will go back and work for his earthy master while the times pass.

Later after Samuel Turner son of Benjamin Turner who was his master at the time died, he was sold to a man named Thomas Moore, and while on Thomas Moore’s plantation he had another vision. His other vision occurred while in the fields, this excerpt will explain, ‘… while laboring in the field, I discovered drops of blood on the corn, as though it were dew from heaven, and I communicated it to many, both white and black, in the neighborhood; and then I found on the leaves in the woods hieroglyphic characters and numbers, with the forms of men in different attitudes, portrayed in blood, and representing the figures I had seen before in the heavens.’ With him telling the people around him about this, he gained the attention of some of his soon to be followers. Turner’s visions gave him the future steps and ideas to carry out the rebellion. His final two visions led to something that played a major roll in America’s history. His second to last vision as stated was ‘I heard a loud noise in the heavens, and 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 men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent…..’ This vision is giving Turner the reasons on why they need to fight out against these slave owners and that the time will come soon for them.

In 1830, Nat Turner and his four men were planning on ways to seek revenge on the different slave owners in the area in order to help the enslaved. Turner felt like this was his calling. The plan included ways to recruit slaves to be able to free black men and women in order to train them to fight and revolt against the white man and his families. The plan began in 1831 the night of an eclipse. Turner said the eclipse was a strange occurrence which was the final sign to take action. This last sign pretty much gave Turner and his followers the strength and courage to push forward with this plan to begin the uprising and revolt.

This revolt being one of the most significant revolts in American history these ideas had were stimulated from other events such as the very first slave revolt which was held in Haiti, which was led by Toussaint-L’Ouverture. Toussaint-Louverture was a former slave who looked out for his people and didn’t want his people to continue to work in harsh and unnecessary conditions. Turner had very similar views as Toussaint, he wanted his people to be free. Although Toussaint-L’Ouverture and Turner had the same views, both of them used different approaches towards the situation. Toussaint fought for his people’s’ freedom in Haiti, while Turner followed God and wanted revenge against the white man. Toussaint-L’Ouverture fought for years for his people’s freedom, he and his people fought for four years to gain their independence from the French.

Nat Turner and six other men killed the Turner family and other whites around them. Over the course of two days, Turner and his followers killed 51 white men and women. Due to this incident that happened other slaves were able to hear about it possible from word of mouth which caused them to quickly join the movement. Turner and his followers gathered about seventy-five other slaves in total to join in the rebellion. This was one of the biggest and most successful revolts to occur in the history of slavery. Nat Turner and seventy-five slaves killed about sixty white men and women in total. Nat Turner and the other slaves were on the way to Dismal Swamp, North Carolina, where they were able to seek refuge and plan their next goal. The goal was to capture things from the county seat of Jerusalem. This plan didn’t work. Later on, the white’s of Virginia called for 3,000 militiamen this soon ended the revolt of Nat Turner, those seventy-five men couldn’t gather any more slaves making it hard for them to fight the militiamen of the white population. Nat Turner and the slaves fought as hard as possible to get their points across that enough was enough, and follow out Nat Turner’s visions. During the fight against the 3,000 militiamen, some slaves were able to escape to safety.

There were over fifty slaves accused of being apart of the revolt with Nat Turner, as a consequence these slaves were killed. There were over two-hundred slaves that were beaten because the whites believed that they had something to do with the revolt, as a result, these slaves were beaten by angry white mobs in the area. While other slaves were getting killed and beaten, Nat Turner was on the run to seek safety. Nat Turner was on the run for about six weeks then was captured with 16 other followers. They were hung in Jerusalem, Virginia. Nat Turner was not only hung he was beheaded after the fact to scare the slaves into not being rebellious.

Nat Turner’s rebellion put fear into the Southerner’s hearts. After the rebellion was completely over the South placed stricter laws which involved the slaves. They even put new laws on slaveholders and free slaves. These different laws can be found in Digest of the Laws of Virginia. Some of the laws placed restraints on the teaching of slaves and the extra activities they were involved in. The activities included the churches that most of the slaves attended, much of the religious events were now in operation by white men, this being stated in the second law in Digest of the Laws of Virginia: if they were to learn things from a person of color they were to be punished. Religion was a way they kept the slaves in control, due to certain passages within the Bible used to possibly scare the slaves. Within the church, there were multiple things said about slaves causing the white’s to reflect how they viewed slaves. Many white southerners said slaves were content and had the fear of fighting against the different slave owners, while there was other white southerners whole believed that the slaves were just unhappy with the entire situation, in my opinion, many were.

This rebellion not only sparked change in the south it sparked tension in the north. Northerners didn’t like the new laws that were being enforced by the south and how they were to treat the slaves. The Northerners began to push for the freedom of the slaves, which soon brought on the Civil War. The Northerners weren’t for this continued mistreatment of the slaves and their work and living conditions. All the laws addressed in the Digest of the Laws of Virginia: denied the free blacks the rights that any white man had, which also made the northerners push for the Civil War. The views on black people were how the country kept a divide.

Nat Turner’s rebellion as a whole was one of the many stepping stones in America’s history, they fought and fought until they ended in a bloodbath. The overall consequences were short-term. These consequences only took a toll on the slaves during that time, because some years later slaves were granted their freedom following the 13th Amendment allowing slaves to be free unless they are to be punished.

Many rebellions in history began from something the slaves were tired of. Sojourner Truth wrote about the living conditions of slaves. These slaves lived like animals and were treated wrongfully, for them to be the key source of income in the south. Nat Turner, the freed blacks, and slaves had every right to rebel. They wanted a change in their lives and they fought for it.

In conclusion, Nat Turner’s rebellion was brought by God and was put in action by Nat Turner and his followers. Many people died from this rebellion white and black, and many innocent blacks that had nothing to do with the rebellion were killed. The rebellion put fear in the hearts of many white southerners because if one group of slaves can carry themselves in that manner all of them can, which caused them to enforce stricter laws involving slaves and free blacks. This rebellion continues to leave a mark on today’s history.

Works Cited

  1. History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/topics/black-history/nat-turner.
  2. PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3p1518.html.
  3. History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/topics/black-history/nat-turner.
  4. Booker T. Washington, 1856-1915. An Autobiography. The Story of My Life and Work, docsouth.unc.edu/neh/turner/summary.html.
  5. “Haitian Independence Proclaimed.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/haitian-independence-proclaimed.
  6. Rebellion.’, ‘Nat Turner’s. “Nat Turner’s Rebellion.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed, Encyclopedia.com, 2018, www.encyclopedia.com/people/history/us-history-biographies/nat-turners-rebellion.
  7. Tate, Joseph, and George Wythe Munford. Digest of the Laws of Virginia: Which Are of a Permanent Character and General Operation; Illustrated by Judicial Decisions: to Which Is Added, an Index of the Names of the Cases in the Virginia Reporters. Smith and Palmer, 1841.
  8. Truth, Sojourner, and Olive Gilbert. Narrative of Sojourner Truth a Northern Slave. Book On Demand Ltd, 2014.

Cite this page

History of Nat Turner. (2022, Apr 23). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/history-of-nat-turner/

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7