Vesey's Rebellion in South Carolina 1822

[ 1822 ]

Denmark Vesey (c. 1767-1822), a talented, black freedman who worked as a carpenter, planned and organized a major slave rebellion in and around Charleston, South Carolina (he hoped to relieve the blacks of their wretched conditions, take control of Charleston, and, if necessary, flee to the West Indies). Vesey and some colleagues collected many weapons, armed several thousand slaves in the area, and set the date for the rebellion for a Sunday in July 1822. When news of it leaked out (black betrayers informed the white authorities), Vesey moved the date up to Sunday, June 16, but the authorities quickly made preparations to defend Charleston and began arresting black suspects, including Vesey. In the ensuing trials of 136 black slaves, 67 were convicted on minor conspiracy charge, 32 were condemned to exile, and 37 (including Vesey) were hanged for action participation in the attempted rebellion. Four white men, convicted of plotting with the slaves, were fined and sent to prison.

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