Nat Turner Facts

Nat Turner Facts
Nat Turner was an African American slave who became well-known for leading a slave rebellion in 1831 in Virginia to free other African Americans. He was born October 2, 1800 in Southampton, Virginia, as a slave to Benjamin Turner. His mother was also a slave to Benjamin Turner. It is believed that Nat's father escaped from slavery when Nat was very young but nothing else is known of him. Despite being a slave Nat learned to read and write and was considered to be an intelligent person. He was also very religious and spent a lot of time studying the bible. In February 1831 Nat determined that he was meant to begin preparing for a rebellion to free slaves.
Interesting Nat Turner Facts:
Nat Turner ran away from his master when he was 21 years old but returned because he said a spirit told him to return.
Nat Turner believed that he had been chosen by God to be the leader of the rebellion to free slaves.
On February 12, 1831 during a solar eclipse the sky went dark and Nat Turner believed God was sending him a sign to plan for the uprising. On August 13 the same year Mount St. Helens erupted and cast a hazy light that Nat believed to be another sign to continue with the rebellion.
During the rebellion the slaves killed as many as 60 children, women, and men. Many were killed while sleeping in their beds with hatchets.
Within 24 hours of the uprising many of the slave militia were captured but Nat Turner was able to elude capture for two months by hiding in the woods.
Nat Turner was captured on October 30, 1831 by Benjamin Phipps who was passing by an area of a farm and discovered evidence of Nat. Nat surrendered.
Following the slave rebellion more than 50 slaves were executed for their crimes. The judges, 20 in all, were all slave owners.
Some of the slaves that had been arrested were acquitted.
Revenge-minded whites set out lynching many African Americans who had not even participated in the slave rebellion.
It is believed that as many as 200 slaves were killed by the white mobs seeking revenge for the slave uprising.
Nat Turner was tried and convicted of 'conspiring to rebel and making insurrection' only six days after he was captured. He was subsequently hanged from a tree on November 11, 1831.
There are numerous accounts of what took place after Nat was hanged. Some said he was skinned and his body divided up as souvenirs and trophies.
Following the slave rebellion there were laws passed to make it illegal for African Americans to be taught to read or write. It was believed that this would stop the slaves from becoming educated and wanting to revolt.
Nat Turner confessed from his jail cell that as a child he could recall events that occurred before he was born.
There have been books and music and films created about Nat Turner, including his confession from his jail cell.


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