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On this date in 1831, Nat Turner was hanged in Jerusalem, Virginia. Turner, a slave and educated minister, believed that he was chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery. On August 21, 1831, he initiated his slave uprising by slaughtering Joseph Travis, his slave owner, and Travis' family.
With seven followers, he set off across the countryside, hoping to rally hundreds of slaves to join his insurrection. Turner's rebellion was the largest slave revolt in U.S. history and led to a new wave of oppressive legislation prohibiting the movement, assembly, and education of slaves.
The African American Atlas
Black History & Culture: An Illustrated Reference
by Molefi K. Asanta and Mark T. Mattson
Macmillan USA, Simon & Schuster, New York