Nat Turner Killed 60 white men , women , and children, in order to escape from slavery. Was he justified ?

  

Category:  News & Politics

By:  john-russell  •  one month ago  •  47 comments

Nat Turner Killed 60 white men , women , and children, in order to escape from slavery.  Was he justified ?
In the early 1820s he was sold to a neighbouring farmer of small means. During the following decade his religious ardour tended to approach fanaticism, and he saw himself called upon by God to lead his people out of bondage. He began to exert a powerful influence on many of the nearby slaves, who called him “the Prophet.” In 1831, shortly after he had been sold again—this time to a craftsman named Joseph Travis—a sign in the form of an eclipse of the Sun caused Turner to believe that the...


Nat Turner's rebellion (1831) is considered by most historians I have seen to have been the most significant slave revolt in US history. 


In 1831, Nat Turner, along with about 70 enslaved and free black people, led a revolt in Southampton County, Va., that shook the nation. Turner, a preacher who had frequent, powerful visions, planned his uprising for months, putting it into effect following a solar eclipse, which he interpreted as a sign from God. He and his recruits freed enslaved people and killed white men, women and children, sparing only a number of poor white people. They killed nearly 60 people over two days, before being overtaken by the state militia. Turner went into hiding, but he was found and hanged a few months later. It was one of the deadliest revolts during slavery, a powerful act of resistance that left enslavers scared — both for their lives and for the loss of their “property.” The Virginia resident Eleanor Weaver reflected on the events, stating in a letter to family members: “We hope our government will take some steps to put down Negro preaching. It is those large assemblies of Negroes causes the mischief.” More stringent laws went into effect that controlled the lives of black people, free or enslaved, limiting their ability to read, write or move about. A Brief History of Slavery That You Didn't Learn in School - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Nat Turner, right or wrong? 

Nat Turner | Biography, Rebellion, & Facts | Britannica



What was Nat Turner’s legacy?


Nat Turner , (born October 2, 1800, Southampton county,   Virginia , U.S.—died November 11, 1831, Jerusalem, Virginia),   Black American   slave who led the only effective, sustained   slave rebellion   (August 1831) in U.S. history. Spreading terror throughout the white South, his action set off a new wave of oppressive legislation prohibiting the education, movement, and assembly of slaves and stiffened proslavery, antiabolitionist   convictions   that persisted in that region until the   American Civil War   (1861–65).


Turner was born the property of a prosperous small-plantation owner in a remote area of Virginia. His mother was an African native who transmitted a passionate hatred of   slavery   to her son. He learned to read from one of his master’s sons, and he eagerly absorbed intensive religious training. In the early 1820s he was sold to a neighbouring farmer of small means. During the following decade his religious ardour tended to approach fanaticism, and he saw himself called upon by God to lead his people out of bondage. He began to   exert   a powerful influence on many of the nearby slaves, who called him “the Prophet.”


In 1831, shortly after he had been sold again—this time to a craftsman named Joseph Travis—a sign in the form of an eclipse of the Sun caused Turner to believe that the hour to strike was near. His plan was to capture the armoury at the county seat, Jerusalem, and, having gathered many recruits, to press on to the   Dismal Swamp , 30 miles (48 km) to the east, where capture would be difficult. On the night of August 21, together with seven fellow slaves in whom he had put his trust, he launched a campaign of total annihilation, murdering Travis and his family in their sleep and then setting forth on a bloody march toward Jerusalem. In two days and nights about 60 white people were ruthlessly slain. Doomed from the start, Turner’s insurrection was handicapped by lack of   discipline   among his followers and by the fact that only 75 Blacks rallied to his cause. Armed resistance from the local whites and the arrival of the state militia—a total force of 3,000 men—provided the final crushing blow. Only a few miles from the county seat the insurgents were dispersed and either killed or captured, and many innocent slaves were massacred in the   hysteria   that followed. Turner eluded his pursuers for six weeks but was finally captured, tried, and hanged.


Nat Turner’s rebellion put an end to the white Southern   myth   that slaves were either contented with their lot or too servile to mount an armed revolt. In Southampton county Black people came to measure time from “Nat’s Fray,” or “Old Nat’s War.” For many years in Black churches throughout the country, the name Jerusalem referred not only to the Bible but also covertly to the place where the rebel slave had met his death.


Turner has been most widely popularized by   William Styron   in his novel   The Confessions of Nat Turner   (1967).


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  author  JohnRussell    one month ago

Is killing justified in order to win freedom for yourself and others ? 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Guide
1.1  1stwarrior  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

I guess Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Adams, Franklin, etc. would have said - "yup, you betcha".

Next racist question???

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

Going out of your way to Murder kids isn’t.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.2.1  bbl-1  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2    one month ago

Never read the bible?  

Besides, it is policy in war and power.  Nobody wants to admit that though----it would be an admittance to their frail sense of humanity.

 

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
1.2.2  zuksam  replied to  bbl-1 @1.2.1    one month ago

Bombs are indiscriminate and they are part of war but any soldier or rebel who targets children intentionally should be shot. If you aim a gun at a little kid knowing it's a kid and fire you are a monster.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.2.3  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @1.2.1    one month ago
Never read the bible

What does that have to do with anything?

Besides, it is policy in war and power

Is it? I thought murdering kids is a war crime.  So you are okay with Russians murdering civilians in Ukraine, because that's policy? 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.2.4  bbl-1  replied to  zuksam @1.2.2    one month ago

I completely agree.  War creates monsters.  I've been there.  I know.  Vietnam.  68-69.  I remember.

We do it for God and country.  Don't forget that either.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.2.5  bbl-1  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2.3    one month ago

Bible?  Everything to do with everything.  When I went into the Army in Nov. 1967, I was given a Bible before I was issued a pair of socks.  

The God and country thing is real, isn't it?  Think before you type.  It can be helpful.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Guide
1.2.6  1stwarrior  replied to  bbl-1 @1.2.4    one month ago

Welcome back - was there '65 - '68 - little door gunner on USMC UH-34's.

Semper Fi.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.2.7  bbl-1  replied to  1stwarrior @1.2.6    one month ago

Army.  For eight months was a door gunner on a Huey H-1, Slick.  B Troop, 7/17 Air Cavalry, 3rd 506th 101st.

As a door gunner took part in the An Khe Campaigns, Oct. 68 thru Mar. 69.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Guide
1.2.8  1stwarrior  replied to  bbl-1 @1.2.7    one month ago

Did you house at Phu Bai?  We had a bunch of Cav'r's sharing pads with us in '68 before we went to the Iwo and Princeton.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.2.9  bbl-1  replied to  1stwarrior @1.2.8    one month ago

No, we stayed with the 1st Cav that was holding the An Khe areas.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.2.10  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @1.2.5    one month ago

ble?  Everything to do with everything.  

Why the fuck do you think my point had anything to do with the bible? Did I cite it?  OR do you claim it's okay to intentionally kill kids because of the bible?

Because if not's one of those two things, you are just on a hobby horse posting the same old irrelevancies for no reason. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.2.11  bbl-1  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.2.10    one month ago

Go away.  Please.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1.3  Greg Jones  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

He likely could have walked away. Killing innocents is never OK.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
1.3.1  afrayedknot  replied to  Greg Jones @1.3    one month ago

“Killing innocents is never OK.”

Hiroshima and Nagasaki excluded, of course. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.3.2  bbl-1  replied to  Greg Jones @1.3    one month ago

Slaves can't walk away.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.3.3  bbl-1  replied to  afrayedknot @1.3.1    one month ago

Would Mei Lai also be in the exclusion?

This Vietnam vet wants to know.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.3.4  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @1.3.3    one month ago
ould Mei Lai also be in the exclusion?

The fact that charges were brought against participants should probably tell you the answer to that question. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.3.5  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @1.3.2    one month ago

Slaves can't walk away

Except for the 100,000 who did. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.3.6  Kavika   replied to  Sean Treacy @1.3.4    one month ago
The fact that charges were brought against participants should probably tell you the answer to that question. 

The army tried to sweep Mei Lai under the rug. Around a dozen were ever brought up on charges and only LT. Calley was the only one convicted and he served 4 months in the stockade. Yeah, those charges really answer the question.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.3.7  Sean Treacy  replied to  Kavika @1.3.6    one month ago
. Yeah, those charges really answer the question.

Thanks for confirming what I wrote. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.3.8  Kavika   replied to  Sean Treacy @1.3.7    one month ago

Woosh

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.3.9  Sean Treacy  replied to  Kavika @1.3.8    one month ago

Right back at you 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.3.10  bbl-1  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.3.4    one month ago

I suggest you examine the outcomes of the Mei Lai Massacre charges.  Then get back to me.  There is something you obviously do not know.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.3.11  bbl-1  replied to  Kavika @1.3.8    one month ago

Boy, I'll say.  "Whoosh."

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.3.12  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @1.3.10    one month ago

I can't believe you are having this much trouble comprehending something so basic.  Charging someone with  a crime (and convicting them)  means the behavior was not acceptable. This is really basic stuff. I don't know why you are struggling so much. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
1.3.13  bbl-1  replied to  Sean Treacy @1.3.12    one month ago

What is your problem?

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
1.4  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

100%

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
2  bbl-1    one month ago

Nat Turner appears to have taken 'the white man's bible' a bit too seriously.  Or did he take it as intended?  And being a black man, is it possible that the white man's god guided him?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
2.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @2    one month ago
And being a black man, is it possible that the white man's god guided him?

Are you claiming blacks can't be Christians? 

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
2.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1    one month ago

No.  However, I will stand with my question.  Care to ponder it a bit deeper?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
2.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  bbl-1 @2    one month ago

I am Spartacus

No, I’m Spartacus 

I am Spartacus 

Spartacus here

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
2.2.1  bbl-1  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.2    one month ago

I saw the movie several times.  However, your point is lost to me.  Care to expand?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
2.2.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  bbl-1 @2.2.1    one month ago

I just reread the thread and I have no idea what I was thinking.  I might have meant to link it to another comment but none of them stand out now.  Good movie though.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
2.2.3  bbl-1  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.2.2    one month ago

OK.  Been there--done that.

 
 
 
zuksam
Junior Silent
3  zuksam    one month ago

It was a Rebellion; I can't blame him or his followers for killing any adult white person they came across. Back then even Teens were a threat since by 13 certainly most boys had a lot of responsibility and carried guns or a least could use them so it doesn't surprise me they'd be killed too. 12 and under though there's not much of a threat there but how do we know who killed the kids since he had 70 followers. Any official record isn't likely to be accurate since it would be written in a prosecutorial context damning the rebellion. I would say anyone who thinks bashing in the heads of children five and under is ever justified should have their heads bashed in just as a precaution.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
3.1  bbl-1  replied to  zuksam @3    one month ago

Well said.  Hate and fear breeds violence.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4  author  JohnRussell    one month ago

I believe that Nat Turner killing all those people was the equivalent of going "all in" at a poker game. He was putting all his chips on the table and making his rebellion an all or nothing proposition. Going that route made it impossible for his rebellion to be half hearted or something he could retreat from. 

From the point of view of the enslaved, who were presented with no real hope of ever gaining freedom through 'peaceful' means, I think killing is justified. What was going through the adult slaves minds as they were killing children is anybody's guess. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @4    one month ago
I think killing is justified.

You believe murdering sleeping infants is justified?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1    one month ago

You think keeping infants as hereditary slaves is justified?  

I think killing kids is horrible. The question is not whether or not it is a terrible thing, but rather was it justified in furtherance of slaves gaining freedom? I dont think anyone can have a definitive answer to that. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    one month ago
You think keeping infants as hereditary slaves is justified? 

No, what does that have to do with murdering other infants?

? I dont think anyone can have a definitive answer to that. 

Since, one of their murders consisted of turning  back and walking  half a mile to kill a kid after they were "free", I do.

It's very had to imagine a scenario where one's freedom depends on slaughtering an infant. 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
4.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    one month ago

I dont think anyone can have a definitive answer to that. 

Exactly, those kids might have detained the 50 or so escaping slaves.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
4.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @4    one month ago

What was going through the adult slaves minds as they were killing children is anybody's guess. 

Revenge, vengeance, hate, power.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.2.1  author  JohnRussell  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @4.2    one month ago

No "freedom" ? 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Expert
4.2.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  JohnRussell @4.2.1    one month ago

Yes, that’s the rationale for the four that I listed.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
4.3  bbl-1  replied to  JohnRussell @4    one month ago

The slaves were driven by fear and oppression.  A bad combination which brings even worse outcomes.  

Those times have passed us.  At least hopefully for the majority of us. 

 
 

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