Friday, November 11, 2011

The End Of A Prophet

Nathaniel Turner the leader of a slave rebellion in Virginia was hung November 11th 1831.

Nat Turner was born October 2nd 1800 in Virginia, a slave owned by Samuel Turner.  He was a bright man who learned to read and write when a child.  Turner was quite religious and was often found reading the Bible.  When he was 22 Turner ran away from his owner, but returned in about a month, after he “received” a vision from God telling him to.  He began to preach to other slaves, and was known as “The Prophet”.

In May 1828 Turner was working in the fields when he had a message from God telling him to "slay my enemies with their own weapons."  Beginning in February 1831, Turner came to believe that certain atmospheric conditions were to be interpreted as a sign that he should begin preparing for a rebellion against the slave owners.  A solar eclipse occurred in Virginia February 11th 1831 and Turner took it as sign that the time for the revolt was near.  When another eclipse occurred on August 13th 1831, Turner took it as the final sign; he began the rebellion a week later.  With a few fellow slaves, Turner moved from house to house killing white people and freeing slaves.  They used axes, hatchets, knives and whatever else was handy.  Turner confessed to killing a woman with a fence post.  Before the local militia could respond Turner’s group killed 60 people.

The revolt was put down within two day, but Turner stayed on the run until October 30th 1831 when he was found hiding in a hole.  He was placed on trial and sentenced to death November 5th 1831.  Turner was hung in Jerusalem, Virginia November 11th 1831, after which his body was desecrated.

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