The Importance of Nat Turner
What was the importance of Nat Turner and where does he stand in American history? Nat Turner is an American slave, who has been forgotten about in history as well in the hearts of African-Americans. He led and organized one of the bloodiest slave rebellions in American history. This rebellion was "…the rebellion that served to change the course of American history in the three decades before the Civil War" (Goldman 10). Within this paper, it is to analyze on his impact on the nation.
Nat Turner was a slave son, who was born on October 2, 1800 in Southampton County, Virginia, to Benjamin Turner. When Nat was born, Bisson pointed out "according to legend, his mother was so determined not to subject him to a life of slavery that she tried to kill him as soon as he was born" (15). When Nat was the age of "…three or four years old his parents were already certain that one day he "surely would be a prophet"" (Goldman 16). As young Nat grew up, he knew his childhood life with the young white boys was coming to an end and soon he will start his new life of slavery. So while still young and free, he had took the opportunity of his childhood to learn how to read and write.
In 1809, When Nat was nine years old, his family and him were moved to another plantation to work. Nat and his mother were lent to work on Samuel Turner's plantation, Benjamin oldest son. Then in 1810, Nat master, Benjamin Turner died in a typhoid epidemic and soon after his wife Elizabeth, had become ill and died. After the death of his master, Nat, his mother, and his grandmother were now the legal property of Samuel Turner. Soon after, the freedom for young Nat had ended when he reached the age of twelve. Nat was now a real slave and had to work in the field with the other slaves, he lost all of his freedom and was working for his new master. With this "…the pain and reality of slavery was a shock that was to have profound influence on his life" (Goldman 18).
In 1821, Nat had decided to run away from his master and to live as a fugitive. While on the run, he met his future wife, Cherry, who was also a slave that was working on the Turner's farm. As time went by, after 30 days has passed Nat had returned to the plantation on his own freewill. Because of his return "Nat said, "the reason of my return was, that the Spirit appeared to me and said I had wishes directed to the things of this world, and not to the Kingdom of Heaven, and that I should return to the service of my earthly master" " (Goldman 60). With his return, Nat went unpunished and was returned to his daily work.
In 1822, a tragedy bestowed upon the Turner's family. Nat master, Samuel Turner, had died and with this it had resulted in separating up his family. With the separation, "Nat's mother was told to stay with Samuel Turner's daughter on the Turner's farm, while Nat was sold to one farmer and his wife was sold to another" (Bisson 28, 29). ...