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Nathaniel Turner

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Author Topic: Nathaniel Turner  (Read 361 times)
Whitney
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« on: July 17, 2009, 01:41:18 am »

Nat spent his entire life in Southampton County, Virginia, an area with predominantly more blacks than whites.[2] After the rebellion, a reward notice described Nat as:

    5 feet 6 or 8 inches high, weighs between 150 and 160 pounds, rather bright complexion, but not a mulatto, broad shoulders, larger flat nose, large eyes, broad flat feet, rather knockneed, walks brisk and active, hair on the top of the head very thin, no beard, except on the upper lip and the top of the chin, a scar on one of his temples, also one on the back of his neck, a large knot on one of the bones of his right arm, near the wrist, produced by a blow.[3]

Nat was singularly intelligent, and learned how to read and write at a young age. He grew up deeply religious, and was often seen fasting, praying or immersed in reading the stories of the Bible.[4] He frequently received visions which he interpreted as messages from God. These visions greatly influenced his life; for instance, when Nat was 23 years old, he ran away from his owner, but returned a month later after receiving such a vision. Turner often conducted Baptist services, and preached the Bible to his fellow slaves, who dubbed him as "The Prophet". Turner also had an influence over white people, and in the case of Ethelred T. Brantley, Nat said that he was able to convince Brantley to "cease from his wickedness".[5] By early 1828, Nat was convinced that he "was ordained for some great purpose in the hands of the Almighty."[6] While working in his owner's fields on May 12, Turner "heard a loud noise in the heavens, and the Spirit instantly appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent, for the time was fast approaching when the first should be last and the last should be first."[7] Nat was convinced that God had given him the task of "slay[ing] my enemies with their own weapons."[7] Nat "communicated the great work laid out for me to do, to four in whom I had the greatest confidence" – his fellow slaves Henry, Hark, Nelson and Sam.[7]
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"Religion is What Keeps the Poor from Murdering the Rich" -- Napoleon Bonaparte


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