Awni Ghanem 1/8/15
Nat Turner, born October 2, 1800, who died November 11, 1831 was a black American slave who led the only effective slave rebellion in U.S. history. Spreading terror throughout the white South, his action set off alarms around the world.
Turner was born the property of a prosperous small-plantation owner in a remote area of Virginia. His mother was an African native who transmitted a passionate hatred of slavery to her son. He learned to read from one of his master’s sons, and also practiced religion very often. In the early 1820s he was sold to a farmer. During this decade, he saw himself called upon by God to lead his people out of bondage. He began to exert a powerful influence on many of the nearby slaves, who called him “the Prophet.”
In 1831, he had been sold again, to a craftsman named Joseph Travis. Shortly after, a sign in the form of an eclipse of the Sun caused Turner to believe that the hour to strike was near. His plan was to capture the armoury. On the night of August 21, together with seven fellow slaves in whom he had put his trust, he launched a campaign of total annihilation, murdering Travis and his family in their sleep and then setting forth on a bloody march toward Jerusalem. In two days and nights about 60 white people were ruthlessly killed. Armed resistance from the local whites and the arrival of the state militia helped end the terror. Only a few miles from the county, they were dispersed and either killed or captured, and many innocent slaves were massacred in the following days. Turner eluded his pursuers for six weeks but was finally captured, tried, and hanged.