Rebellion in the Early Republic - Nat Turners Rebellion | 6
Maginness October eighteen twenty one just after daybreak at Samuel Turner's plantation in Southampton County Virginia. All around you. The fields are white with cotton ready to harvest. You bend down to a plant and carefully separate the cotton fibre from the bowl trying to avoid it's sharp edges. There are dozens even hundreds of balls on this plant and hundreds of plants stretching all the way to the tree line. You Whisper to the man working on the road next to you when I wouldn't give to be far away from here. Nat should've taken us with him. He's a lucky man. It's been a month. Since another slave named NAT escaped the plantation. After the overseer flogged him. You heard anything. He's long gone by now. If the patrols and caught him we'd have heard about it. You pause for a moment to stretch your cramping muscles. Suddenly a movement twenty yards away catches your eye. Someone is emerging from the trees. Well I must be dreaming. What that right there. But before the other man can answer your already on the move running keeping low knowing that the overseer could spot you at any moment you stop at the edge of the field a few yards from that looks ragged and exhausted but strangely serene. Why in God's name are you doing back here? Holy Spirit appeared to me and said that I should return to the service. Marathi master you shake your head and just leave. Are you crazy? What kinda slave returns to their master that stares up at the sky closes this is or he knows. His master's will not shall be beaten many stripes and us. I have chased and you you're used to Knack quoting the Gospel and his words are as puzzling as ever. You glance over your shoulder for the overseer. You'll be punished with an inch of your life. If you've any sense at all you just take off right now. It's too late. The overseer has spotted nat. He's running toward the trees. You back away quickly. Return to your row. Hoping he'll be too busy with NAT TO PUNISH YOU. Watch is the overseer grabs nat roughly and hauls him away that NAT has always been strange but something in his steady voice keeps ringing in your ears. He came back by his own choice to this wretched place and only God knows why. Just then you make your own choice your own silent found to seize your chance to escape this bondage no matter what and when you do you won't be coming back. American history tellers sponsored by urban stems last week. I organized a virtual happy hour for my team. My family got together for an Internet enabled. Dinner Party to Easter was still fun for my six year old because there was no competition in the egg hunt. I am like most of you trying to fit normal into a very abnormal situation. And I think it's important to keep a regular expressions of love and affection however we can which is why using urban stems for Mother's Day is a good idea. In fact delivering. Fresh flowers has never been a better idea. 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Turner would go on to launch the bloodiest slave revolt in American history deeply religious and enigmatic Turner's goal was to free Southampton Slaves. You would eventually recruit a small group of rebels and sweet. Through nearby farms and plantations unleashing carnage on white residents and prompting a violent response from slave owners and white authorities in just forty eight hours. Turner shattered the popular notion that enslave men and women were at peace with their fates his rebellion struck at the core of the southern social order. And change the future of slavery shaping the destiny of both black and white Americans for years to come. This is episode six Nat Turner's rebellion by the early eighteen. Hundreds slavery's grip on the south was growing stronger and it was fast becoming a defining issue in the expanding nations politics. Virginia was home to the largest number of enslaved people in the United States but the practice was deeply contested there after a failed rebellion led by slave named Gabriel at the turn of the century state leaders imposed stricter rules on black residents both free and enslaved and they drew up new laws to bolster slaves reach. Meanwhile a boom and cotton planting drove slavery's growth. The crop had become increasingly. Profitable since the invention of the cotton gin and the Seventeen Ninety S. The new technology streamlined production leading to a sharp rise in the demand for slave labor as United States acquired new land in the south and West. Much of it was turned into cotton plantations between eighteen hundred and eighteen thirty. The population of enslaved Americans more than doubled from about nine hundred thousand to more than two million. The federal government outlawed the slave trade from Africa in eighteen thousand eight but the domestic slave trade flourished slave owners in the tobacco belt in the east made huge profits by selling their slaves to the cotton plantations in the New Territories and states in the South West in slave families were torn apart as tens of thousands of slaves were forced to March West. This westward spread of slavery sparked heated political debate as new states entering. The union raise fears about the balance of power between free and slave holding states. The Missouri compromise of eighteen twenty maintain that balance of power temporarily but regional divisions over slavery would only intensify in the years to come and as slavery became more entrenched in the south slaveholders found new ways to defend the practice. Not only did they argue that. The economy depended on slavery but they suggested that bondage was in the best interests of enslaved people. They drew on pseudoscience to make the case that black people were innately inferior to white people. Others convince themselves that enslaved people were content with their lot. Virginians argued that slavery in their state was far more lenient than it was in the harsh cotton plantations in the new South West. They saw themselves as enlightened benevolent masters. Who were helping enslaved people by Christian izing them politicians plantation owners and otherwise relied on literal readings of Bible passes to justify slavery they argued that God's sanctioned the master slave relationship using this pretense to continue the brutal practice of forced labour that was the bedrock of the southern economy and social order and slave men and women receive Christian teaching that put emphasis on subservience still in the years following the Haitian Revolution and Gabriel's rebellion. Enslaved people continued to resist their oppressors. Sometimes through outright revolt in eighteen eleven hundreds of slaves rose up on the German coast in Louisiana killing two people before they were stopped by white militias and in eighteen. Twenty two a freedman named Denmark. Visi was executed after planning a failed rebellion against slave owners and other white people in Charleston South Carolina. This spirit of rebellion was not extinguished by Christian teachings some slaves instead saw in the Bible a call to resist their enslavement. Nat Turner was one of them. Turner was born in Southampton County Virginia in October. Eighteen hundred eight days before. Gabriel was hanged for plotting. His slave revolt in Richmond. Southampton County was remote agricultural backwater near the North Carolina border sixty percent of the residents. There were black majority of them. Enslaved when Turner was a child whose father ran away from their plantation and never returned proving to young net. That escape was possible. His mother and grandmother told Turner that he was intended for some great purpose and he was taught to read and write and he became deeply religious. He isolated himself from others devoting his free time to fasting and praying by the time. Turner reached his early twenties. He was about five and a half feet tall broad shouldered with a face next scarred with injuries he'd received while working the fields he also come to see himself as a prophet he claimed to have visions and he believed he received messages from God through signs in nature in eighteen twenty one turner himself ran away from his plantation but after thirty days spent hiding in the woods he returned shocking the other slaves at the plantation disobedient slaves faced harsh punishments. Whippings beatings confinement or sale to distant lands but turn claim to spirit had told him to return to the service of his earthly master statement that mystified his fellow slaves. He would later. Write that others found fault and murmured against me saying that. If they had my sense they would not serve any master in the world. He wouldn't be the last time Turner's judgment was considered strange some even questioned his sanity sometime after his return. Turner married an enslaved woman on a neighboring plantation but he continued to isolate himself and devote his time to religious reflection as reclusive and enigmatic as he was. Turner was also highly intelligent and charismatic. These traits along with his deep sense of purpose and his unwillingness to submit to the status quo would make him a natural rebel leader in eighteen. Twenty two the next year. Turner's master died and he was sold to another South Hampton plantation owner. Thomas more it was on. Moore's plantation that Turner had his second vision three years later. He claimed he saw drops of blood on the corn. As if it were do from heaven he believed this was a sign that the Great Day of Judgment was at hand. Turner continued to deepen his religious thinking throughout the late. Eighteen Twenty S. He even gained his first follower. A white man named Ethel Not Brantley. Brantley was drawn to turn his message about the approaching end of and claimed. Turner cured an illness. He was struggling with the two men petitioned local church to baptize them. The church denied them likely wanting to discourage turner from styling himself as a prophet so turner took matters into his own hands. He Baptize himself and Brantley. In upon deep in the forest before a crowd of mocking spectators Turner's growing sense of his own destiny was increasingly at odds with his status as a slave he saw himself as a prophet but he remained the property of a white man and he witnessed fella. Slaves suffer constant humiliation and violence. This paradox set the stage for Turner's Third Vision in May eighteen twenty eight this time. He believed God instructed him to fight his enslavement. Turner heard a loud noise. Descending from the heavens and a spirit told him to wait for a divine sign signal would be a warning that according to Turner I should arise and prepare myself and slay my enemies with their own weapons. Meanwhile Turner was becoming bolder and more outspoken in his challenge to slavery that Same Year. Turner was whipped by his master. Thomas more for daring to say that blacks ought to be free and promising that they would be free one day or another when Moore died in eighteen. Thirty Turner moved to the home of Joseph Travis. The new husband of Moore's widow Travis was a more lenient master than more had been but turner was still waiting for the sign from God. He'd been promised then on February Twelfth. Eighteen thirty one almost three years after his third vision. A solar eclipse caused the skies to darken over Southampton County. Americans from New England to New Orleans were captivated but Turner saw it as an omen the signal. He'd been waiting for the call for him to rise up. Turner wasn't a popular figure in his community. He avoided mixing with others preferring to wrap himself in solitary religious reflection but he did have a few close confidants and after the eclipse he called together the four men he trusted most Hark Henry Nelson and Sam Hark was a slave on the travis farm alongside Turner and served as his right hand. Man The others were slaves on neighboring plantations. The five men left their plantations and gathered in the woods. Were Turner informed them that the eclipse was assigned from God. The Turner should start a slave revolt. The men agreed to launch their rebellion on the fourth of July. It was a fitting date. Not only as the anniversary of America's independence but because some slaves would be given the day off allowing them to mobilize in secret but in the coming months. The men struggled to agree on a firm plan. Every time someone suggested a course of action another man found a reason to object. The uncertainty rattled. Turn who later said that it affected my mind to such a degree that I felt sick. July fourth came and went but a few weeks later a final sign appeared that strengthen turns resolve on August Thirteenth and atmospheric disturbance gave the son of bluish Green Tint that caused excitement and alarm throughout the eastern United States. Turner saw black sunspot. That he believed was proof from God that his rebellion would succeed. He was determined not to wait any longer. Though Turner had not decided on a precise plan. The enslave men and women of Southampton began whispering of revolt. Imagine it's late in the evening of August. Eighteen thirty one walking back to your master's house in Southampton County Virginia exhausted after a long day of cooking cleaning and doing your mistress bidding. You're approaching the cabins on the perimeter of the farm. When you see a man quietly creep inside one of them you recognize him from the county over wonder what he could be doing here at this time of night. You know. This could only spell trouble but your curiosity gets the better of you. You walk up to the cabin duck under the window to listen in the Black People. Come join me yet white people. You're stunned by the statement but it's not the first time you've heard rebellious talk against whites. Peer in the tiny window to see a handful of men gathered in the corner of the room speaking hushed tones sick and tired of it timing event. My master crop my ears cropped his ears before the years out just as Ukraine your neck to get a better view you trip on your skirt and lose your balance knocking over a metal Pale beside you. Man Exits the cabin sees you on the ground. Grabs you by your elbow and Yanks you inside. The men are all glaring at you. You've just heard a secret. And if you tell the white people they'll think you're in on it the shoe or worse your eyes widen in fear. I I swear I won't tell anybody. The man raises eyebrow. How can we know we can trust you? You're not the first man I've heard talk like this. I've never told a soul before. Man looks at his friends then shakes his head. Then you get out of here quickly now. If you tell anyone they'll be held a bank you don't waste any time before slipping out of the cabin your hand trembles as you close the door. Walk back to the main house wondering if these men succeed maybe you can live free if they fail. They'll surely be killed. You glanced back at the cabin shivering. The night breeze if they're determined to act terrified for these men's lives and you're all though word was spreading only Turner's inner circle knew exactly what was planned for Southampton County on Sunday August Twenty First Turner's for confidence met with two new men Jack and will who the conspirators had recruited without Turner's knowledge. The men gathered in the woods. Cabin pond that morning preparing a pig to eat drinking apple brandy. Turner joined the group in the afternoon and was surprised to see the new recruits. He trusted Jack who was harsh brother-in-law. He asked why the other men will was there. We'll responded that his life was worth no more than others and his liberty as dear to him. He vowed that he would obtain liberty or die. Trying this was enough to make Turner trust him and Turner's band now numbered. Six men agreed to begin the revolt that night at Joseph Travis's farm for both Nat Turner and his Co conspirator heart lived and they made an extreme choice. Declaring that neither age nor sex was to be spared once the violence began. Turner knew this meant many people including women and children could die but he and others like them have been brutalized divided from their families and exploited for profit for generations. He felt the divine signs. Had finally made it clear that he had to act and violence was the only thing that could bring real and lasting change in joining. Turner's plot to strike back against Southampton slave owners. These men were taking an enormous risk. They were poorly armed and badly outnumbered. They knew the odds but still stepped out into the night. Ready to fight for their freedom. American history tellers is sponsored by Scots. What does it take to stay healthy? Eat well exercise. Avoid the bad stuff. 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You'll get free shipping and a sixty day risk free trial that's simplisafe dot com slash tellers to make sure they know that our show sent you from simply safe and all of us here. We wish you safety and good health. On the night of August twenty first eighteen thirty one nat turner and six of his allies. Set off to launch their revolt. In South Hampton. Virginia Turner had kept the plot small by design designing against recruiting more followers in the days and weeks leading up to the rebellion. He knew that pass slave rebellions had failed due to slaves tipping off whites by keeping his circle. Small Turner hoped to lessen the chance that someone would alert white authorities the very thing that had doomed Gabriel's rebellion thirty years earlier and when Turner did launch his rebellion. The secrecy proved critical. White slave owners were caught entirely by surprise the men decided to begin at the home of Turner's master then march onto CD's Southampton's county seat Jerusalem. Killing any whites. They found along the way turns edict not to spare women and children wasn't just about revenge. He hoped that such a dramatic show of force against whites would inspire other slaves to join the rebellion. The rebels hoped to gather recruits as they went along in their killing spree. Eventually Turner plan to spare white women children and men who did not resist. But I they needed enough recruits to have a chance at victory. The men carried the advantage of secrecy. But they were vastly outnumbered and about two o'clock in the morning of August twenty second Turner and his six allies emerged from the woods wielding axes and hatchets. They set off for the home of Joseph Travis Turner's master. The group improvised as they went along after reaching the Travis House. They considered hacking the door open with an axe but decided stealth would be a better tactic. Turner Climb through the Second Story Window of the House to open the front door. Turn will crept upstairs to wear Joseph Travis and his wife were sleeping. Turner swung his hatchet striking the first blow the rebellion but all he did was wake Travis. We'll stepped in and delivered the fatal blow by the time. The rebels left the house. They had killed travis his wife their six year old boy young apprentice hired to work on the farm. The rebel sees guns from the Travis. Home put feathers in their caps and red sashes around their waste. Then Turner led them to the barn outside Marston through a series of military drills. Turner was transforming his small band into an army. Dawn was approaching. Finally the rebels saddled horses from the Barn and prepared to head out to neighboring farms justice. They were leaving. They remembered that the Travis's baby had been left untouched. Willing Henry returned and killed the infant. The men traveled to two more farms killing a man and a woman they failed to recruit any slaves at the first farm but gained a few followers at the second as the Sun. Rose in the sky the rebels who now numbered about a dozen arrived at the farm of Nat Turner's first owner the widow Elizabeth Turner. We'll kill the frightened woman with his axe nat. Turner swung at her sister with his dull sword but failed to deliver a fatal blow. We'll stepped in again and kill the woman. Instead by the time they left they gained two more followers. The rebels then divided main force rode on horseback to the home of another widow named Kathryn. Whitehead and they killed along with her son. Four daughters and infant grandson. Catherine's daughter Margaret was the only person Turner personally killed during the rebellion but the rebels had forgotten. That one daughter remained young. Harriet Whitehead was still inside hiding beneath a mattress. They soon realized their mistake and doubled back. Imagine just after sunrise on August twenty second eighteen thirty one at the Whitehead Plantation Southampton County Virginia. You're in an upstairs bedroom in absolute shock. The mistress's dead. So are her son. Her daughter's her grandson. You spend your whole life and slave to the whitehead family now. There's nothing left of it. You ben down beside the bed where you've hidden young. Harriet Whitehead between the frame and the mattress. Sh- don't you make a sound and your decades with the white heads you've seen more violence against slaves than you care to think about your own. Children were torn away from you along with their mother but if justice is to be done it's not going to be through killing this little girl through the window. You can see the men writing off down the lane away from the house. This is your moment to act. You lift up the mattress defined. Harriet cowering her eyes squeezed shut. Come along now come on. She says nothing. She's clearly too stunned to speak. Grab a blanket and rapper up lifting her in your arms and carrying her down the stairs. Sh Sh now. I'm going to get you out of here slip out the back door. Run off to the woods by the House as fast as your old legs can carry you. Try Not to think about the carnage. You've just witnessed. You've wanted your freedom your whole life but you know the whites will get their revenge for this. You said Harriet down at the edge of the forest. All right now you have to keep going on your own as fast as you can't. I'll come back with food. The little girl stares at you. Fear but she follows. Your orders stumbles off deeper into the woods. You turn around and emerge from the trees in your heart. Drops to rebels have doubled back you there. You coach them nervously. Yes what is it? I know this family. Where's the other girl? Think you're mistaken. They're all dead but I think I heard a couple of other slaves here talk about joining you. They went that way. You pointed in the direction away from the woods. Man Narrows his gaze that So. What about you all man when you join us me? I'm too old for that. I just slow you down. Man Looks you up. And down and shrugs. He's probably right but just you wait. You'll be free soon enough. Men Right off and he finally exhale. You don't know what the future has in store now. That nearly the whole white had family is dead freedom. That is too much to believe early in the morning of August. Twenty second an elderly enslave. Man Named Hubbard carried. Harriet Whitehead to shelter in the woods where she hid from the rebels. Only one slave at the whitehead farm join that her. Most of the others fled. The scene. Southampton's and slave community was divided in their response to NAT Turner's rebellion. Some like Hubbard came to the aid of their white owners. Others fled some eagerly joined Turner's Army while others were more reluctant later. Said they were threatened into joining. The rebels did not recruit women children or older men but they struggle to win over men of fighting age to half of the rebel. Ranks came from just four farms. Some potential recruits may have been repulsed by the violence while others may have deemed at. Just a fool's errand would only end in their death but the rebels continued on from the whitehead plantation raise more farms turner places best armed men at the front to strike terror into the hearts of Southampton's whites. He brought up. The rear of the Party and often only arrived at farm after the killing was over some Southampton whites received word of the rebellion and fled their homes and fear still. The rebels continued to haphazardly. Move from one farm to the next finding victims and gaining a few more recruits and weapons. Along away some of the rebels took valuables from empty homes yet to encounter any real resistance. He didn't only been a few hours since his rebellion started but already nat turner was striking at the foundations of southern society. Few slaves had ever carried out such an effective and sustained revolt already. The rebellion was revealing in startling clarity. The instability at the root of the supposedly tranquil agricultural south and the acquiescence of their enslaved populations later in the morning. The rebels arrived at a plantation where local teacher and ten school children were hiding out the rebels killed. All of it was the bloodiest episode of the revolt. The rebels then continued writing east toward the county seat of Jerusalem where Turner hoped to procure arms and immunization by midday. The rebel ranks numbered between fifty and sixty. Meanwhile the Southampton White Population had sounded the alarm women and children flooded into village centers. Men were preparing defense. They would retaliate near Jerusalem at a place called. Parker's field aiming to blunt the advance of Nat Turner's rebellion Alexander Pete. A local magistrate and slave holder commanded a militia of eighteen men. They have been following the rebels trail since the massacre of the school children and rushed ahead to Parker's field when the rebels approached the gate of the farm. They were stunned. See the militia. They're a few fled. Pete ordered his men to hold their fire until they came within thirty yards of the rebels but one of his men ignored your and discharged his weapon. Turner then ordered the rebels to charge. They managed to knock down a handful of militiamen. Some of the whites retreated in panic. Rebels were advancing in. The militia was outnumbered but moments later turned all. The white reinforcements were approaching. Rebels became disorganized. Retreated amid militia gunfire carrying their wounded with them. After the defeat Parker's field turner still planned to march on the county seat. But he knew he needed to gain more followers I but as he and his men roamed the countryside they continue to struggle to find new recruits. So the rebel spent the night in the woods. Near one of the largest plantations in the area there were forty young. Enslave men their return. His men were only able to convince four to join them the next morning. The rebels woke impressed on but they reported by armed whites at every turn. Their numbers continued to dwindle as some were killed and others fled eventually. Turner was left with just two allies. He told them to gather the remaining rebels cabin pond where he and his collaborators had first launched revolt there they would plan their next moves. Turner waited alone in the woods. The other man would never arrive over the course of two days nat Turner and his rebels had beaten beheaded shot to death. Some fifty five people the countryside was in disarray but White Southampton was about to get its revenge. 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Taylor's that's S. K. Y. L. I. G. H. T. F. R. A. M. E. DOT COM. Promo Code Tellers. Maginness late August eighteen thirty one near the border of Southampton County. Virginia it's early in the evening and you and your younger brother Hoeing weeds and the small field outside your cabin. It's not much but it's your own. You were freed after the death of your master a few years back this monotonous work. But you don't mind so much anymore. Nowadays you savor the abilities tend to your own crops with your own. Labor you pause to wipe the sweat off your brow. Is your brother turns to you. It'll be dark soon. Should we call it a day? Best get inside especially with the militias roaming the area. I don't want to take any chances. Being confused for a rebel slave. You brother shakes his head and smirks. Always the cautious one aren't you you should thank me. Where would we be if I let that hot head of yours? Call the shots. Your brother is about to respond to you. When you drop your to the ground in hold your hand quite him just seen something out of the corner of Your Eye. Hair of unfamiliar white men are galloping towards you you notice. They're armed with pistols quickly. They approach you there. This Southampton County Brother furrows his brow. These men are clearly not from around here. Well yes sir. You've just crossed the line by that tree is that so. And what are you doing now? You and your brother exchanged confused glance. Why we live here sir. You should be afraid for your lives. We'll teach all you rebel slaves lesson. You'll think twice before you ever take arms against white people again. You take your brother's arm come on. Let's get Outta here but your brother ignores you calls up to the mounted white man. We don't have anything to do with that thought. We're no slaves were Friedman. You employ your brother. Stay quiet but it is too late. Men are dismantling their horses. So what you all? The same US brother takes a step back but they grabs arms and pin them behind his back. Let me go no. You're coming with US. So be smart. Now you can make this easy or you can make this heart. You WanNa do something. It's your brother. They're taking away. Japan realized your stomach drops as you watch the men. Carry him off and gagged. You burn this image in your mind uncertain if you'll ever see him again. In the days after Turner launched his revolt white militias move quickly to restore control of Southampton County as whites fled their farms and gathered in towns and villages militias quickly mustered their forces. They soon captured most of the rebels. All except Nat Turner who eluded authorities in the climate of fear created by the rebellion. White vigilantes armed. Mobs took violent revenge on SOUTHAMPTON BLACKS KILLING DOZENS. Many who are innocent and had nothing to do with the uprising. Some of enslave men and women were tortured for information. Vengeful whites maimed and beheaded suspected rebels and supporters. One Virginia newspaper argued that the acts of revenge whereas barbaric atrocities of the rebels. But many whites argued that this harsh retribution was justified. Others push for restraint. Once it became clear that the threat the Southampton was over a trio prominent militia leaders called for an end to the indiscriminate killings they recognize that enslave men and women would be important witnesses in upcoming trials. And what's more they were valuable property. The health of the community's economy was at stake on August twenty eighth a week after the rebellion started militia leader Richard APPs issued an order urging his troops in the citizens of Southampton to abstain from violence to any personal property. Militia leaders took suspected rebels into custody and even jail blacks who had nothing to do with the rebellion to keep them out of harm's way. These measures were effective and reprisals in Southampton County declined but not before as many as forty black people were killed by vigilante groups and militias much later historical counts. We put that number probably incorrectly as high as two hundred but the violence also spread beyond Virginia as hundreds of Southampton residents fled to Murphy's Borough North Carolina twenty miles to the South News of the Insurrection. Caused mass panic. A white mob shot a black man walking down the street mounting his head on a post and threw his body into a gully that same day white men killed and enslaved driver after his mistress complained that he had behaved imprudently a wave of hysteria spread throughout the south as rumours of new. Slave revolts. Reach places as far away. As Mississippi and Alabama armed patrols roamed many southern communities one south Carolinian described a dark and growing evil at our doors authorities in Charleston. Raise a special cavalry forced to protect the city back in. Southampton officials tried suspected rebels in court throughout the month of September forty five slaves and five Friedman were charged in connection with the revolt of these eighteen were hanged and fourteen were transported out of the state by limiting their use of the death penalty. Authorities avoided paying out hefty sums to compensate slave owners for their loss property but even as he's trials continued. There was one man who still evaded authorities in mid-september almost four weeks since the uprising. The Virginia governor announced a five hundred dollar reward for Nat Turner Safe Capture Turner had remained hidden in Southampton the whole time sneaking provisions from nearby farms at night then on October thirtieth a farmer found him hiding in a cave to was barefoot and emaciated farmer raised his gun and Turner threw down his sword and surrendered the next day. He was taken to Jerusalem before a crowd of onlookers and jailed as Turner awaited trial. He was interviewed by a slave owning lawyer named Thomas. Gray Gray had served as a court appointed counsel for several terms followers who've been tried in September and his conversations with grey. Turner reveal the religious inspiration for his rebellion. Gray asked Turner. Do you not find yourself mistaken now. But Turner was steady in his beliefs. Responding was not Christ crucified. I'm here loaded with chains and willing to suffer the fate that awaits me gray published an account of the interview titled The Confessions of Nat Turner. The pamphlet sold tens of thousands of copies Turner's intimate personal reflections and vivid descriptions of killings. Helped make him infamous on November fifth? Turner was brought to trial before a panel of ten judges. Local newspapers remarked at composure. During the trial six days later he was brought before the gallows he was given the chance to address the crowd but refused. His voice remained firm as he told the executioner that he was ready. Moments later took was hanged in the aftermath of the rebellion. Virginians were divided on how to respond. Some argued that the best way to avoid further sleigh violence was to eradicate slavery hundreds of White Virginians sent petitions to the state government calling for abolition or the removal of slaves. From the state in the western part of Virginia were anti slavery sentiment was strongest Weitz held public rallies in support of emancipation. So for the first time. Since Gabriel launched his failed revolt decades earlier Virginia lawmakers considered ending slavery in the state in early eighteen thirty. Two Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The grandson of Thomas Jefferson and a delegate to the State General Assembly put forth a plan to gradually free slaves and settlement in the new African nation of Liberia. Randolph argued that slavery would end one way or another whether by the actions of lawmakers or the bloody scenes of Southampton and Sandomingo but most lawmakers believed that emancipation and resettlement would be too costly and difficult to implement after weeks of heated debates. The state voted to retain slavery lawmakers instead pass brutal laws. That made life harder for Black Virginians. Free OR ENSLAVED. They strengthened wipe patrols and militias and made it nearly impossible for slaves to learn to read and write attend religious meetings or become preachers whites. Crackdown ON BLACK CHURCHES and put them under the supervision of white ministers in eighteen thirty. Two Thomas do a professor at Virginia's College of William and Mary wrote an influential essay on the state. Abolition debates in which he defended slavery as an institution established by God that benefited master and slave alike. Do warn that black and white Americans could never live together in peace. His arguments became the foundation of Pro Slavery. Ideology in the years leading up to the civil war in the eighteen thirties and forties white southerners stopped bothering to justify slavery as a necessary evil and overwhelmingly defended it as a positive good. They blamed anti slavery. Activists in the north. For stirring slave revolts but as much as southerners argued that slaves benefited from bondage. They were haunted by the idea that another NAT turner could rise up against them. So more states followed Virginia establish white patrols and militias and harsh laws to control the lives of enslaved people nat Turner Complex mysterious figure and he left a divided legacy for some. He was a hero a brave man willing to do anything to fight for his freedom no matter the cost for others. Turner was a villain inciting incredible violence. His uprising left a path of bloodshed. Unlike anything white or black southerners had ever seen the violent response revealed just how much the establishment was determined to defend not only their wealth but their system of racial control and while pro slavery advocates were more determined than ever to protect slavery rebellion also strengthened convictions of northern abolitionists. In the years to come the north and south grew more and more polarized ultimately nat Turner's desperate and bloody revolt inflamed tensions. That would only be resolved on the battlefield. Thirty years later as the nation erupted in civil war next on American history tellers I speak with Edward J Larsen Historian and legal scholar at Pepperdine University. We'll discuss how the early American rebellions were resolved to. What this era of our nation's history can teach us about how the government handles pushback from citizens today from wondering. 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