555Nat Turner Early in the morning of August 22,1831, a band of black slaves, led by a lay preacher named Nat Turner, entered the Travis house in Southampton County, Virginia and killed five members of the Travis family. This was the beginning of a slave uprising that was to become known as Nat Turner’s rebellion. Over a thirty-six hour period, this band of slaves grew sixty or seventy in number and slew fifty-eight white persons in and around Jerusalem, Virginia (seventy miles east of Richmond) before the local community could act to stop them. This rebellion raised southern fears of a general slave uprising and had a profound influence on the attitude of Southerners towards slavery. Nat Turner was born a slave in Virginia in 1800, owned by a southern man, named Ben Turner. It was common during this time for the slave to be given the last name of their owner. In this relatively easygoing atmosphere at this particular plantation, Nat was allowed to learn to read and write. growing up, Nat played with his owners’ son until the age of twelve. He
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