But while Appeal's fame rests on its militancy, Walker was not a simple bomb-throwing revolutionary. Like Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, and innumerable other African American activists who would follow, Walker firmly believed in and based his arguments on the same principles that white Americans so righteously claimed: those found in the Bible and in the U.S. Constitution. But Walker was a realist; he held out faint hope that white Americans would, on their own, ever hold to the principles of their sacred and civic scriptures. Walker also showed his thoughtfulness by providing in his Appeal a program for the development of his people after the abolition of slavery.
Unfortunately, what "appealed" most to the authorities of the time was Walker's death. A price was put on his head and he was found dead in June of 1830, an apparent victim of poison. Still, upon reading Walker's Appeal, the white aristocracy was put on notice—the days of the slaver were numbered. Less than a year and a half after the publication of Walker's work, Nat Turner's rebellion demonstrated in action the commitment to liberation that Walker articulated with such fire in his Appeal.