|Full Name||Nat Turner|
|Age||31 years old at death|
|Birthday||October 2, 1800|
|Death Date||November 11, 1831|
Nat Turner was a prominent figure of the American slave rebellious movement and one of the most important Civil Rights leaders in history. He led the only effective slave revolt in American history in 1831.
Nat Turner was born into slavery on October 2, 1800 in Southampton County, Virginia, on his owner Benjamin Turner‘s plantation. He learned to read and write as a child, which was rare for slaves at the time. He became very religious from a young age.
The Southampton County Rebellion
On August 21, 1831, Nat Turner led over 70 enslaved and free blacks in a rebellion across Southampton County, Virginia. They killed around 60 white people across multiple plantations during the two-day uprising. It was the largest and deadliest slave rebellion ever in America.
Nat had planned the rebellion after claiming to have religious visions of fighting for freedom. The rebels used knives, hatchets, axes, and blunt instruments to attack slave owners. Ultimately the revolt was suppressed just 48 hours after it began, but Nat evaded capture for six weeks.
The rebellion caused widespread fear and harsh retaliation, with over 200 innocent blacks murdered by white militias in the aftermath. It also led to stricter slave codes and greater unease around the institution of slavery in the South.
Capture and Execution
Nat Turner hid in the woods for six weeks after the revolt but was eventually discovered on October 30, 1831 in Southampton County, Virginia. He was promptly tried and convicted of insurrection and sentenced to death.
On November 5th Nat Turner was sentenced to be hanged, and on November 11th he was executed in Jerusalem, Virginia. To intimidate other potential rebels, his body was beheaded and flayed after death.
Legacy and Impact
Nat Turner‘s rebellion served as a crucial turning point that further fueled the abolitionist movement. It showed that slaves would go to extreme lengths in their fight for freedom, provoking greater opposition to the institution of slavery leading up to the Civil War.
Though controversial, Nat Turner demonstrated self-determination against injustice and his story remains an important touchstone in African-American history. His motivation and the true details of his life are still debated by historians today. Sites related to the 1831 rebellion are now preserved for their historical significance.