Nat Turner

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Nat Turner (2 October 1800 – 11 November 1831) was an American Black slave and preacher who led a four-day rebellion of both Black slaves and free Blacks in Virginia, United States, beginning on 21 August 1831. The rebellion caused the death of approximately 60 Whites. An estimated 120 Blacks were killed in association with the suppression. In the aftermath, the state tried those accused of being part of the rebellion: 18 were executed, 14 were transported out of state, and several were acquitted. Turner hid for two months. When found, he was sentenced and executed.

Especially more recently and among Blacks, Nat Turner has become a politically correct symbol.

"In “The Americans: A Social History of the United States,” published in 1969, author J. C. Furnas describes the deeds of the man Wexton and McEachin would be pleased to see replace Robert E. Lee: “In August 1831, Nat Turner, paranoid slave preacher and cunjur man, led his superstition-fuddled followers to kill fifty-five whites of all sexes and ages in an aimless terrorizing of Southhampton County in the southeastern corner of Virginia. “The poor twisted creature could hardly have found a worse time to sharpen Southern fears of a slave rising.” Turner was tried and hanged and, that winter, writes Furnas, “The Virginia legislature voted down by a narrow margin a bill for gradual extinction of slavery.” Nat Turner’s terrorism had set back emancipation."[1]

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