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Robin Madans Research Paper

Robin Madans Research Paper



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Published by skippy
A research paper detailing several high profile slave rebelions in american history.
A research paper detailing several high profile slave rebelions in american history.

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Published by: skippy on Jul 25, 2007
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Slave Rebellions
Robin MadanWord count 3,337By the 1800s slavery was a big part of the triangle trade. The triangle trade was asystem where ships from Europe would take slaves from the African coast and then sellthem in the Caribbean. Then the ships would sail back to Europe with a cargo of agricultural products. This system of trade created a “triangle” between Europe, Africa,and North America. One of the ways slaves protested slavery was by causing rebellions.Rebellions, although rare because of the strictness of their masters and the fear of consequences, caused great problems for slave owners. Two of the more notable slaverebellions were The Southampton Insurrection, and the mutiny on the slave ship TheAmistad. When they did happen, slave rebellions caused great problems for the white population, and induced fear among slave owners. The success rate of rebellions wasvery low, but a few did succeed to some extent.As stated by author William Loren Katz “The reason for slave resistance wasslavery”. Whether or not the masters of slaves were mean or nice, it remained true that bondage in turn, bred defiance. Slave conditions varied from one farm to another, butthey were generally harsh. The owners were so interested in maximizing profits that theywere rarely concerned for the health or happiness of their slaves. For a race whoseheritage was freedom, there was always a desire to be free (Katz 19,22,30). To quoteauthor Bradford Chambers “I have never heard it said that the lives of Negroes in theservitude of our planters were less tolerable then those of colliers and miners in allChristian countries.” He goes on to say that this argument has no weight with peoplewho have the interest of the country and human beings in mind (Chambers 34).
The Southampton Insurrection
One of the most famous slave rebellions in history was the SouthamptonInsurrection led by Nat Turner. On October 2, 1800, Nathaniel (Nat) Turner was born onthe small plantation of Benjamin Turner in Southampton County, Virginia. His mother, Nancy Turner had been brought as a slave from Africa only five years before Nat was born. The name of Nat’s father is unknown. Religion was a very big factor in Nat’s life. Nat’s grandmother, who was a very religious slave known as Old Bridget, told Nat storiesfrom the Bible (Edwards 26). His master, Benjamin Turner, was a very religious man.As a devout Methodist he held prayer services for his slaves and allowed them to go tochurch on Sundays (Edwards 26).Although he never went to school, Nathaniel was an exceptionally smart child.One time when he was three of four years old he was overheard talking to some other children about an event that had happened before his birth. When asked how he knewthis, Nat’s response was that he just knew (Edwards 27). At one point Nat was given a book to look at. He started reading the book even though no one had ever taught him toread. Not even Nat remembered how he had learned. After this, Nat would read theBible every chance he got (Edwards 28).In 1809, Benjamin Turner’s son, Samuel, bought some land from his father.Samuel needed slaves to work on his land so Benjamin loaned him eight slaves, including Nat and Nancy Turner. A year later Benjamin died and his slaves were divided up amonghis children. Nat and his mother stayed at Samuel’s farm (Edwards 30). By the time Natwas twelve years old he was made to work in the fields all day. All the free
time he hadhe spent either reading the Bible or in prayer (Edwards 32). Around 1822 Nat began to2
claim that he was having visions. He had visions of black spirits fighting white spirits.He heard voices saying that God had spoken telling him that he was a prophet. Natstarted preaching to slaves and soon became a very influential slave preacher. OnSundays he would go to different plantations in the area to preach about his
visions, andin the slave community was considered a prophet. In 1822, Samuel Turner died. Nat wassold to Thomas Moore, who owned a farm in Southampton County (Edwards 34).On May 12, 1828 Nat had a vision. He heard a loud noise above him and then “avoice told him that he should take on the burden of Christ and fight against evil, whichwas loose in the land (Edwards 37)”. As said by Nat Turner “For the time was fastapproaching when the first should be last and the last should be first…. I should arise and prepare myself and slay my enemies with their own weapons”(Oates 48). Nat decidednot to tell anybody until he was given a sign telling him to begin. While he was waiting,his master Thomas Moore died, and all his property was given to his nine-year-old son,named Putnam. Then the dead Thomas Moore’s widow, Sally, married Joseph Travis,who gained control of the slaves (Edwards 48).While he was waiting, Nat found four slaves he could trust. They were namedHenry, Hark Travis, Nelson Williams, and Sam Francis. He told them to find other trustworthy slaves who would help them. The day of the planned insurrection wassupposed to be July 4, 1831, but as the day came Nat got sick so the rebellion had to be put off. On August 13, 1831, a solar eclipse happened. This unusual occurrence causedfears about the end of the world. Nat Turner took this as a sign that God was leading himto the next stage of his3

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