Nat Turner and the Rising in Southampton County
Sixty-five deaths of men, women, children and infants resulted from Nat Turner’s slave rebellion and afterward between one hundred to two hundred slaves were killed in retribution. Current events in Mississippi and Florida remind us that the brutal divisions still exist and are an important part of the history of this country.
The result of reading this historical account of the 1831 Nat Turner slave rebellion was gaining an understanding that the wealth of the South was built not only on slave labor itself, but on the trading of slaves as the most important asset and wealth builder for the farmers. The greatest share of property taxes resulted from the assessment of slaves, therefore local governments were reliant on – and built upon – this income. As slave populations increased, so did Southern wealth. However, when this author discusses slave population, he credits marriage alliances for the introduction of new slaves and never that planters may be propagating the slave populations.
The drawback of this narrative is twofold; that the author is a “just the facts” writer and that slaves had the owner’s last name, making it difficult to separate the planter population from the slaves.
|Johns Hopkins University Press
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