He grew up in Southampton County, Virginia, where slavery was a very common. (“Nat Turner”) Freedom was something Nat and his family sought out for throughout their lives. “His mother had considered murdering him at birth to prevent him from suffering the misery of slavery.” (“Nat Turner”) This goes to show the tremendous toll slavery had on many families; a mother could kill her baby to give them a better life. Nat’s “owner,” Benjamin Turner, gave him the opportunity to learn how to read and write. (“Nat Turner’s Rebellion”) It became apparent from a young age that Nat was a very intelligent child. As he grew older, Nat Turner became more involved in religion, which he often practiced with his fellow slaves. (“Nat Turner’s Rebellion”) Because of his studying of the Bible, Nat Turner was well aware of the gap between the way Christians were supposed to act compared to the way the whites acted in Southampton. Turner often asked himself, “How could these slaveowners call themselves Christians when their conduct was so contrary to the teachings of the Bible?” (“Nat Turner”) When Turner was only twenty-one, he attempted to form a resistance by escaping, and he was successful for about a month. He returned because he believed it was his duty to. (“Nat Turner”) Benjamin Turner died a year later, and with the death of Benjamin went Nat’s ability to hold back his plans of rebellion. (“Nat
Nat Turner 's Rebellion was a slave revolution which consisted of the murder of at least 60 whites in Southampton County, Virginia in August of 1831 over the period of a few days. Historians have held different viewpoints about this event and how it has been presented in various texts throughout time. Some early articles produced directly after the revolt held an abolitionist perspective which was later challenged by William Styron 's work in the mid-1900s. More recent publications have since criticized his work outwardly for his poor portrayal of Nat Turner. Many writings about this topic have come to be controversial among historians and readers alike.
Before I get into the book itself it is important to know about the actual person who was Nat Turner and the rebellion that he led in 1831. Nat Turner was born into slavery on October 2, 1800 in Southampton County, Virginia. His slavemaster from the time he was born up until he was ten was Benjamin Turner. When Benjamin Turner died in 1810 Nat became the property of Benjamin’s older brother Samuel, who was portrayed in the book. Nat Turner spent his entire life on the Southampton
Would you expect a young, black, educated slave, to be a leader of one of the most bloodiest slave rebellions ever? On October of 1800, Nathaniel “Nat” Turner was born a slave on Benjamin Turner’s plantation in Southampton County, VA. He was allowed to read, write and learn religion (“Nat Turner”). Samuel Turner was in a lot of debut so Reverend Zalthall set up appointments for Nat to preach to slaves from plantation to plantation. The slave owners hoped this would make their slaves want to work willing and to be obedient. In return the slave owners would pay Samuel Turner. While preaching, Nat has experienced the way his people were being treated. This bothered him so he started up a meeting for anybody who wanted to rebel(Birth of a Nation).
Frederick Douglass was one of the most important and famous African Americans in America. He had an great impact on society, politics, and the life of blacks. Frederick Douglass was a prominent abolitionist, writer, reformer and orator. He was born into slavery, but escaped and against great odds became the voice for many people. He was an advocate for human rights and the anti-slavery movement. He not only a strong supporter black's rights, but also of the rights of immigrants, women, and Native Americans.
In my opinion this was nothing compared to the next thing which is the death of Nat’s Master. After all of the talk about Nat’s freedom due to the fact that he was almost useless as a physical working slave, the old man died taking Nat’s freedom with him. The repercussions of Master Benjamins death proceeded to be the exchange of Nat now being property of Master Benjamins eldest son, Samuel Turner. Samuel much like his father was a very religious man. Samuel worked his slaves hard and used faith in the Lord to scare slaves into being obedient like most other Southerner’s. The idea behind keeping the slave’s faith in the Lord was that the Lord allows slavery because white people are better than the blacks. Basically, any slave who disobeyed their owner was disobeying the Lord, resulting in an eternity in hell, “To be good children of the Lord, the slaves must beware of Satan who created their cunning wicked master of Hell – for it was Satan who created their desires for freedom and tempted them to run away” (Oates
Around the end of the 19th century, there lived many people wanting equality between races. Two main leaders of the African American community that emerged during that time were W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. All though both of these men were fighting for the same cause, they disagreed greatly with each other relating to the strategies that could be used to create progress in both the social and economic aspects of how African Americans lived and were treated.
Slavery was an important time period that is still affecting American society today. For 400 years, Africans were enslaved by Americans and were forced to do hard labor in harsh conditions. They were forced to pick cotton, harvest and plant rice and build railroads. Slavery began in America in 1619 when countries in Europe would kidnap Africans and send them to America on boats. This time period is important due to the devastating actions that happened to Africans and what they did to change the course of history. There were many different approaches to slavery and some were violent. Nat Turner, among other violent African slave rebellionist, gathered weapons and men and began to start a rebellion to slavery. Although, most slaves took a violent approach others like Harriet Tubman began to free slaves through the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman was a major contribution to the freeing of slaves through her background, her escape, her influence in the underground railroad and her legacy.
Fredrick Douglass is one of the most famous abolitionists the United States has ever seen. The events that led up to his freedom of slavery were very interesting. In his Narrative you not only get to see the worst of slavery, but you can also feel firsthand what Douglass went through to get his freedom. As we all know slavery was something you could not just walk out of. Some slaves that try to escape even end up getting punished or killed. Fredrick Douglass does not actually tell us exactly how he escaped in detail to the North from slavery because he does not want to give any slave masters information. Which makes sense because, he would not like to be giving slave owners an upper hand on slaves that do try to escape.
Abolitionists preached to the public people on how slavery was unjustified, cruel, immoral, and inhumane. A widely accepted thought was to degrade colored people to that of the thinking capacity of apes and to treat them as animals. Most of the states were slave-holding at this time in history with slaves being the ones under the direction of the owners. Buyers (whites) of slaves sought for cheap labor and gave no credibility to anything the slaves accomplished. Whites had slaves work their mines and farms, the two most important jobs at the time. Without the slaves, no one was there to take care of their families and maintaining submission was the rule of the land. However, it was arguable that colored people were the main reason that the country was striving. It was so unfair that slaves built this country off of their diligent and humbled work ethic, yet they were still viewed as being far inferior to whites.
The morality of Nat Turner’s rebellion may initially seem like a bit of a gray area. The bottom line is, however, if you take away the racial issues, you are left with 55 people murdered in cold blood. It would be one thing if all of the victims were white slaveholders, but at least 24 of them were children (Baker, 179.) They were killed for things that they hadn’t even done. Nevertheless, the atrocity of Nat Turner’s rebellion does not take away from the atrocity of the slave trade.
The Southampton Tragedy dubbed him as “a dreamer of dreams and a would –be Prophet, he used all the arts familiar to such pretenders, to trick, confuse and overwhelm the slave minds”(The SouthHamp…). Keep in mind this is a very biased view from a perspective of the slave state Virginia, additionally this article expresses their bitterness towards turners rebellion because it was purposely to hinder their economy. A Northern document from the American Beacon investigated that “He (Nat Turner) acknowledges himself a coward and says he was actuated to do what he did” (American Beacon). I find this document shows a more understanding of his side, although the interviewer has a different opinion towards his actions. Notice how they say “he acknowledges”, meaning he knows his rebellion was foolish and a coward attempt. I further believe this I lean toward this document more since the north would be considered an observer in this rebellion, whereas the South is hurt by what this rebellion represents how flimsy their economy can
Merriam-Webster defines slavery as; the state of being own by another person, the custom or practice of owning slaves or hard tiring labor. Oxford dictionaries defines slavery as; a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them. In 1654, a court in Northampton County rules John Casor, an African the first legally recognized slave in America and rules him property for life. The Virginia Slaves codes of 1705 further defined the status of slaves as people imported from nations that were not Christian. Why were Africans chosen by the Europeans to be enslaved? Initially Europeans tried enslaving Native Americans, but due to their weak immune systems Native Americans could not fight off Old –World diseases such as smallpox
The Fires of Jubilee is Stephen B. Oates jaw-dropping narrative of the dramatic events that took place in Southampton, Virginia in 1831. His book contains just a little examination or historiography, however centers the inconceivable extent of its 150+ pages on a direct recounting the rough occasions of the slave insubordination which broke out, and which will be associated with the name of its leader, Nat Turner. In Oates' record, white Virginia prided itself on its direct slave regime, even convincing itself that the slaves were not harassed into docility but rather were happy, slaves were extremely grateful for their lot. White Virginians looked down upon on what they viewed as the cruel and severe treatment of slaves in states known for
Frederick Douglass is a renowned author of his autobiography and many other books throughout the years, but he didn’t start out that way. When he was born, he was taken into slavery, and worked hard day in and day out since he was a child. But, he ran away and lived a free life. Slavery was one of the many things Americans did wrong back in those times, and it is still going on today. There are many injustices in slavery and motivations that had made people want to join the abolitionist cause back then, but there is also some sensible age limit to children who will learn about Frederick Douglass.