Nathanial “Nat” Turner was a black American slave who led the only effective, sustained slave rebellion (August 1831) in U.S. history. Spreading terror throughout the white South, his action set off a new wave of oppressive legislation prohibiting the education, movement, and assembly of slaves and stiffened proslavery, antiabolitionist convictions that persisted in that region until the American Civil War.
He was born on the Virginia plantation of Benjamin Turner, who allowed him to be instructed in reading, writing, and religion. Sold three times in his childhood and hired out to John Travis, he became a fiery preacher and leader of African-American slaves on Benjamin Turner’s plantation and in his Southampton County neighbourhood, claiming that he was chosen by God to lead them from bondage.
Nat Turner, a legendary revolutionary, led the group which killed 60 whites before the militia brought it to a halt. Later, Turner was caught and hanged. All of the homes affected are under private ownership and not open to the public. Only the markers and the memories remain.
Last Updated: 09/27/2019