Fire of Jubilee

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Nat Turner is the most famous and most controversial slave rebel on American history. He was living in the innocent season of his life, in those carefree years before the working age of twelve when a slave boy could romp and run about the plantation with uninhibited glee. Nat in his young years cavorted about the home place as slave children did generally in Virginia. He was first lived in Turner's house, who owned a modest plantationin a remote neighborhood "down county" from Jerusalem. His daytime supervisor was his grandmother, Old Bridget- who regaled the boy with slave tales and stories from the Bible. Nat had become very attached to his grandmother. The Turners had become Methodists, who held prayer services on their farm and took the blacks to Sunday chapel. Among such slaves were Nat's grandmother and his mother, Nancy, a large, spirited, olive-skinned young American, imported to North America before 1808, to toil as bondsman on farms and plantations there. By the time Nat was four or five years old, Nancy was extremely proud of him. Bright-eyed and quick to learn, he stood out among the other children. He never touched liquor, never swore, never played practical jokes and never cared a thing for white people's money. Being a Methodist, the old Master not only approved of Nat's literacy but encouraged him to study the Bible. The preachers and everybody else in the boy's world – all remarked that he had too much sense to be raised in bondage, that he " would never be of any service to anyone as a slave. The seasons of Nat's life changed in a succession of unexpected shocks. The first shock came when his father ran away from the Turner place and escaped to the North. Another jolt came in 1809, when he was 9 years old, he left the plantation of his birth and went to stay with Master Samuel. After Benjamin's death in 1810, Nat, Nancy, and old bridget all became the legal property of Master Samuel, who was a harder taskmaster than his father had been In the early morning hours of August 22, 1831, a band of slave insurgents, led by a black mystic cal Nat Turner, burst out of the forests with guns and axes, plunging southeastern Virginia- and much of the rest of the South – into convulsions of fear and racial violence. As Nat reached the age of twelve , the must go to work, which was more then nat's final break with his childhood. Going to work was It also ended his democratic frolicking with white children, he recognize that " I am a slave, a piece of property, to be worked and ordered around like a mule. He and others have to plant cottons at the fields, pick worms off the cotton plants , sow corn , tobacco and hoe those, pull and stack the hay and so on. For Nat it was an especially painful time, for he had been led to believe he might be freed one day. Young Nat, however, rarely participated in their leisure- time amusements- and never in the drinking. He preferred to spend his spare time either in prayer or in improving his knowledge. He experimented in making gunpowder and exploited every opportunity to read books. Nat was quick to discern the power of the black preacher. He was an acknowledged leader, a sacred leader. The slave church nourished young Nat's self- esteem and his longing for independence .Nat's mind and body traveled separate paths to man's estate, here he was, 21 yrs old and still in bondage. He was short, slender, and a little knock- kneed, with thin hair, a complexion like black pearl, and cavernous, shining eyes. Still enslaved as a man, Nat zealously cultivated his image as a prophet, aloof, austere, and mystical. Inevitably, Nat began exhorting Turner's slaves in the cabins and out in the fields. .

In 1819, Nat married to Cherry. In 1822, Master Samuel died because of catastrophe. Nat and Cherry, among with 20 slaves, were to be sold. Nat and Cherry remained in Southampton County within a few miles of the Turner place. In time, Cherry bore children by Nat- a daughter and one or two sons....
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