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Nathaniel Turner

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Whitney
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« on: July 17, 2009, 01:45:56 am »

Legal Response

In the aftermath of the Nat Turner Slave Rebellion, the Virginia General Assembly passed new legislation making it unlawful to teach slaves, free blacks, or mulattoes to read or write. The General Assembly also passed a law restricting all blacks from holding religious meetings without the presence of a licensed white minister.[19] Similar laws were enacted in other slave-holding states across the South.[20]

Some free blacks chose to move their families north to obtain educations for their children. Some individuals, such as a young teacher named Thomas J. Jackson (better known to history as "Stonewall Jackson") and another named Mary Smith Peake, chose to violate the laws and teach slaves to read. Overall, the laws enacted in the aftermath of the Turner Rebellion resulted in the widespread illiteracy 35 years later of newly freed slaves and many other free blacks in the South at the end of the American Civil War.

The issue of education and helping freedmen gain literacy was seen as one of the most critical in the postwar South. Consequently, many northern religious organizations, former Union Army officers and soldiers, and wealthy philanthropists were inspired to create and fund educational efforts specifically for the betterment of African Americans in the South. With the Freedmen's Bureau, the American Missionary Association (AMA) led the effort to establish basic schools for elementary learning, and created normal schools to generate teachers, such as those that grew to become Hampton University and Tuskegee University. The AMA founded eleven colleges in Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Mississippi.
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"Religion is What Keeps the Poor from Murdering the Rich" -- Napoleon Bonaparte


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