U.S. History: Nathanial “Nat” Turner’s effective enslaved African descent people’s American freedom rebellion in August 1831

U.S. History: Nathanial “Nat” Turner’s effective enslaved African descent people’s American freedom rebellion in August 1831

Nathanial “Nat” Turner (1800-1831) was an enlsaved African decent American. Nat Turner led one of the largest effective, sustained enslaved African descent people’s American rebellion in U.S. history during August 1831. This enslave African descent people’s uprising spreading terror throughout the South where white European descent people had the largest concentration of economically enslaved African descent people in the United States.

Nat Turner was born on the Virginia plantation of Benjamin Turner, who allowed him to be instructed in reading, writing, and religion. Nate was sold 3 times in his childhood and hired out, by his enslaver, to John Travis in the 1820s. Nat Turner became a preacher and leader of enslaved African decent people on Benjamin Turner’s plantation and in his Southampton County community. He believed that he was chosen by God to lead his people from the economic enslavement bondage by whites.

Nat Turner enlisted the help of 4 other enslaved African descent people. The insurrection or enslavement revolt was planned, aborted, and rescheduled for August 21,1831. When Nat Turner and 6 other enslaved Africans rose up and killed the Travis family and then managed to secure arms and horses. Nate Turner then enlisted about 75 other enslaved Africans in an insurrection that resulted in the murder of 51 white people.

Nat Turner afterwards hid nearby successfully for 6 weeks until his discovery, conviction, and hanging at Jerusalem, Virginia, along with 16 of his enslaved African descent liberators.

As a result of Nat Turner’s action, this set off a new wave of oppressive legislation against African descent people. Laws prohibited the education, movement, and assembly of enslaved African descent people. The new laws stiffened proslavery, antiabolitionist convictions that persisted in that region until the American Civil War 1861–1865.

Many of oppressive laws returned after The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation laws against African Americans for public facilities as long as the segregated facilities were equal in quality, known as “separate but equal”. Facilities were never equal and never became equal. This U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision legitimized re-establishing racial segregation in the American South after the end of the Reconstruction Era 1865–1877. The decision was handed down by a vote of 7 to 1, with the majority opinion written by Justice Henry Billings Brown and the lone dissent written by Justice John Marshall Harlan.

Below is brief look back at how a few historical newspapers reported on this enslavement uprising in the United States of America:

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August 1831

September 1831
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October 1831

Explore more by clicking on the attached links
How the United States continued a system of enslavement after the 13th amendment in 1865

December 18, 1865: Formally abolishing slavery in the United States 

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