August 21, 1831 — Today began the most violent slave revolt to date in the American south. Led by Nat Turner, 70 enslaved and free African-Americans followed him from house to house in in Southampton, Virginia and for two days killed nearly 65 white men, women and children.
With what came to known as “Nat Turner’s Rebellion,” rebellion ended on August 22, the slaughter didn’t stop there.
Many of the slaves were tried for conspiracy, murder and treason, and 55 were executed. Local mobs and militias murdered nearly 200 other African Americans in a frenzy following the rebellion.
Soon after, slaves were prohibited from getting an education, were restricted about their right to assemble, and were required to have white supervision during worship services.
Words of Wisdom
I was not addicted to stealing in my youth, nor have ever been; yet such was the confidence of the Negroes in the neighborhood, even at this early period of my life, in my superior judgment, that they would often carry me with them when they were going on any roguery, to plan for them.