Biography Of Nat Turner Essay

1250 words - 5 pages

Nat Turner was born as a slave on Benjamin Turner's plantation in Southampton County, Virginia on October 2, 1800 (www.encarta.com), five days before the execution of African American revolutionary Gabriel Prosser, who had planned a slave revolt in Richmond, Virginia. Turner's father also worked at that plantation but he ran away and his name is unknown. His mother was a slave named Nancy who was kidnapped from Africa in 1793. (www.afroamhistory.about.com). She and Nat's grandmother were the ones that raised him but his mother was the one responsible for all of Turner's beliefs. She believed that he was destined to be somebody important in life and that great thing were awaiting him. She taught him to be Christian and Turner later became a preacher. He was a very smart boy and was taught to read and write by his master's son. (www.anb.com). It is said that as a child Turner spoke about things that occurred before his birth like the slave revolt by Prosser. Nat was put to work at the fields when he was only twelve years old. In 1822 he married a slave named Cherry, but later that year he was separated from his wife and his mother when each of them were sold to different owners.(www.anb.com) He ran away from Turner's plantation when a harsh and cruel overseer was hired and when he was free he started having visions of God. His first vision told him to return to his plantation so some days later he went back to the plantation to await the signal for his revolt.The slaves that lived and worked with him on the plantation always considered him a religious leader and he became very popular among them. He visited many churches and preached at them making him more famous every time to the point where he was considered a prophet. By travelling from church to church it allowed Nat to gain the knowledge about roads and hiding places that would later help him when he organized his slave revolt. They were all convinced that he was a servant of God and would lead his people to freedom. He claimed himself that he talked with God and he was the one who ordered him to go ahead with his rebellion. When his master died, he was sold to Thomas Moore. Two years later he was moved to the home of Joseph Travis, the new husband of Thomas Moore's wife but his real owner was Putnam Moore, a nine-year-old boy son of Thomas Moore.(www.africana.com) Nat Turner's second vision he describes he "heard a loud noise in the heavens, and the Spirit instantly appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men."(www.anb.org) where he tells Nat that he must fight the serpent which represented slavery. The vision told him when he saw the sign in the sky "He should arise and . . . slay my enemies with their own weapons" (www.anb.com) When he saw an eclipse on February 1831 he interpreted this as the signal God had sent him and started planning his revolt. He decided he was going to start it on July 4 but then he got ill and...

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