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Nathaniel Turner

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Whitney
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« on: July 17, 2009, 01:44:43 am »

Turner started with a few trusted fellow slaves, but the insurgency ultimately numbered more than 70 enslaved and free blacks, some of whom were on horseback.[8] On August 13, 1831, there was an atmospheric disturbance which made the sun appear bluish-green. Turner took this as the final signal. He began the rebellion a week later on August 21. The rebels traveled from house to house, freeing slaves and killing all the white people they encountered.

Because the rebels did not want to alert anyone, they used knives, hatchets, axes, and blunt instruments instead of firearms. (The latter would have been more difficult for them to collect.) Historian Stephen B. Oates states that Turner called on his group to "kill all the white people."[9] A contemporary newspaper noted, "Turner declared that 'indiscriminate slaughter was not their intention after they attained a foothold, and was resorted to in the first instance to strike terror and alarm.'"[10] The group spared a few homes "because Turner believed the poor white inhabitants 'thought no better of themselves than they did of negroes.'"[9]

The rebels spared almost no one whom they encountered. A small child who hid in a fireplace was among the few survivors. Approximately sixty white men, women and children were killed[9] before Turner and his brigade of insurgents were defeated. A white militia twice the size of the rebels was reinforced by three companies of artillery.[11]
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"Religion is What Keeps the Poor from Murdering the Rich" -- Napoleon Bonaparte


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