Nat Turner: A Man of
Courage and Wit
Nat Turner is by far one of the most well known slaves in American History. Most people know Nat Turner as the man responsible for a large slave revolt, which took place in August 1831. However, after reading and analyzing “The Confessions of Nat Turner and Other Related Documents,” one is able to get a better picture of Nat Turner himself. In my opinion, Turner has many significant characteristics that made him the man he was. Of these characteristics, his courage and wit were undoubtedly his most important traits. Without his courage, Nat Turner would never have done half the things he did and, without his knowledge, he never even could have conceived his plan. Nat Turner’s wit and courage were definitely what made him the man he was.
Nat Turner’s courage was, by far, the main reason he was able to partake in the slave revolt. Without his bravery, Turner and his followers would not have gotten as far as they did in their rebellion. I believe that Turner’s definition of a rebellion would be somewhere along the lines of a total annihilation of his enemy, in this case, the white people of Southampton. Turner and his followers, during the rebellion, took absolutely no pity on the townspeople. Not just the men were murdered. Every white person – man, woman, and children – was killed; “neither age nor sex was to be spared” (pg 48). Not only were they all killed but also killed quite brutally. “Will (one of the slave followers) laid him dead, with a blow of his axe” (pg 49), remarked Turner. While Nat Turner’s rebellion may not have fully succeeded, it did manage to accomplish one thing. It managed to get many more slaves thinking about the idea of freedom and rebellions. In other words, Turner’s courage in the rebellion did not go in vane.
Another example in which Nat Turner proves his vast amount of courage, takes place after the rebellion was over and done with. This example goes to show that he is not afraid of his destiny. After the local Southampton militia had put down the rebellion, Nat Turner and several of his...