Nat Turner Final Draft- Sophomore Year.docx - McGee 1...

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McGee 1Shelbi McGeeMillerAmerican History15 February 2017Nat Turner’s RebellionOn April 12, 1861, the first shots were fired by Confederate soldiers on Fort Sumter. These shots were the beginning of the American Civil War that was fought by the Confederate and Union armies. There were many issues during the time of the Civil War, but the most commonly known and disputed issue is that of slavery. Some slaves were just as opposed to slavery as abolitionists, so they rebelled. There have been several slave rebellions, each of which has provided reasons for people to fear them, but the bloodiest and most significant of these is the slave rebellion of Nat Turner. Nat Turner’s rebellion of 1831 was an influential abolitionist movement that caused the further persecution of slaves from angry Southerners.Nat Turner was born on a plantation in Southampton County, Virginia on October 2nd, 1800. Turner was born to a slave woman named Nancy who landed in Norfolk five years before his birth. She was a slave of a refugee fleeing the revolt in the French colony of Saint-Domingue.Little is known about his father, however, Nat said that his father escaped slavery when he was still a boy (“Turner, Nat”). Shortly after Nat’s birth, his mother contemplated killing him to save him from a life of slavery (Burgan 28). Perhaps it was the “marks of a prophet” that Nat bore on his chest that convinced her to keep him alive. Turner learned how to read at a very early age (“Nat Turner’s Slave Uprising Left Complex Legacy”). Turner’s master, Benjamin Turner, soon learned that Nat was an extraordinary child; Nat could explain things that occurred before his birth and was an unusually serious child (“Nat Turner”). He spent every possible moment either
McGee 2reading or in deep prayer (“Turner, Nat”). He also experimented with making paper, pottery, and gunpowder (“Nat Turner’s Insurrection”).Nat Turner had many different masters throughout his life. After the death of Benjamin Turner, he was given to Benjamin’s brother, Samuel. Shortly after Samuel Turner’s death, he became the property of Thomas Moore and then the property of his widow. Once she remarried, Nat was the property of John Travis (“Nat Turner”). Nat was very fortunate; Travis was known tobe more humane and nurturing to his slaves than any other man in the county (“Nat Turner’s Insurrection”). Although Travis was pleasant, he had very little freedom as a slave. He could not travel without his owner’s permission, legally marry, earn wages, or own property (“9.1 Nat Turner’s Rebellion”). Whenever Nat was not doing light work in the fields, he kept to himself and avoided mixing in society. Along with avoiding society, Nat spent much time fasting and

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