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Illustration of revolt
On this date in 1831, Nat Turner and 70 black slaves began a two-day uprising in Southampton County, Virginia.
Nat Turner, a slave preacher, believed that God had chosen him to lead blacks to freedom. During the rebellion, Turner’s master was killed, along with about 60 other whites. As troops moved in to capture the slaves, Turner escaped and remained at large for two months. While he was a fugitive, it is estimated that around 53 blacks were arrested and tried, 20 were hanged, 21 were acquitted, and 12 were transported out of Virginia.
The revolt had repercussions throughout the South. It became clear to the whites that many slaves were willing to die for freedom. More rigid slave codes and laws were adopted as a result.
Turner was captured and executed on November 11, 1831, that year.