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Juneteenth and the war against slavery: 5 historic slave revolts

Nat Turner – 1831

A 19th century depiction of the capture of Nat Turner, the enslaved preacher who led an anti-slavery rebellion in Virginia in 1831 that led to the deaths of around 55 whites. The subsequent crushing of the rebellion resulted in around 200 blacks being killed.
A 19th century depiction of the capture of Nat Turner, the enslaved preacher who led an anti-slavery rebellion in Virginia in 1831 that led to the deaths of around 55 whites. The subsequent crushing of the rebellion resulted in around 200 blacks being killed. | Wikimedia Commons

Nat Turner, a Virginia slave and preacher who claimed to have divine visions, believed that a solar eclipse that had occurred in 1831 was a sign to overthrow slavery.

On Aug. 31 of that year, he and a group of around 75 slaves in Southampton County rebelled, killing approximately 55 white Virginians before his uprising was brutally put down.

“Afterwards, Turner hid nearby successfully for six weeks until his discovery, conviction, and hanging at Jerusalem, Virginia, along with 16 of his followers,” explained History.com.

“His action set off a massacre of up to 200 black people and a new wave of oppressive legislation prohibiting the education, movement, and assembly of enslaved people.”   

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