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About the lecture:
Shortly after slavery was codified, the enslaved sought freedom often resorting to violence. The 1831 Southampton County Slave Insurrection, also known as Nat Turner’s Rebellion, was one of the largest slave uprisings in American history and the largest in Virginia. Nat Turner was a religious mystic and preacher who believed he had received signs from Heaven to free his fellow enslaved people from bondage. The rebellion began on the evening of August 21, 1831, and by noon the next day, more than 50 enslavers were dead. Nat Turner had planned to attack Southampton County’s county seat, Jerusalem (today’s Courtland, Virginia). Instead, Turner was defeated on August 23 as his dreams of liberation faltered. At least 45 of Turner’s followers were killed and 15 were executed. Turner’s rebellion shocked the nation and was a clarion call to abolitionists to seek the end of slavery as enslavers sought to protect the institution. These opposing forces would result in the Civil War.
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