Turner's Rebellion in Virginia 1831

[ 1831 ]

[also called Southampton Insurrection]

Nat Turner, a literate and pious black slave, came to believe he was divinely chosen to lead his people out of bondage in Southampton County, Virginia. On August 21-23, 1831, he and about 75 followers went on a bloody rampage in the county, slaughtering 55 white persons (including Turner's master Joseph Travis [d. 1831], and his family), and terrorized the Tidewater area. Soldiers from Fort Monroe and sailors from the navy were sent in to quell the rebellion. The blacks were dispersed; some were killed or captured. Turner escaped to the woods but was caught after a six-week manhunt and hanged along with 20 of his followers. The violence of the revolt caused the southern states to take sterner measures against slaves and to tighten their fugitive slave laws.

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