An Account of Some of the Principal Slave Insurrections
Rebellions, Revolts and Uprisings
And others, which have occurred, or been attempted, in the United States and elsewhere, during the last two centuries.
Collected from various sources by
Numerous African slave rebellions and insurrections took place in North America during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. There is documentary evidence of more than 250 uprisings or attempted uprisings involving ten or more slaves. Three of the best known in the United States during the 19th century are the revolts by Gabriel Prosser in Virginia in 1800, Denmark Vesey in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1822, and Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831.
Slave resistance in the antebellum South did not gain the attention of academic historians until the 1940s when historian Herbert Aptheker started publishing the first serious scholarly work on the subject. Aptheker stressed how rebellions were rooted in the exploitative conditions of the southern slave system. He traversed libraries and archives throughout the South, managing to uncover roughly 250 similar instances.
The subsequent collection of facts is presented to your notice, with the hope that they will have that effect which facts always have on every candid and ingenuous mind. They exhibit clearly the dangers to which slaveholders are always liable, as well as the safety of immediate emancipation. They furnish, in both cases, a rule which admits of no exception, as it is always dangerous to do wrong, and safe to do right. Please to examine carefully the whole account of the revolution in St. Domingo, beginning in March, 1790, and ending in 1802. That exhibits a different picture from that presented in a speech made at the Union-saving meeting lately held in Boston. A part of the truth may be so told as to have all the effect of a deliberate lie.