Fires of Jubilee

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The Sparks of a Civil War
The year is 1831; the University of Alabama is founded, Victor Hugo publishes his work The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and President Jackson is barely keeping the country together. Abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison are radically protesting slavery, and uneasy southerners are ready to fight for their “property”. Northerners argued that slavery was against the morals of Christians and that it is in fact against the Constitution where it states that “All men are created equal.” Southerners say that in the Bible, the books of Christians, there are stories about men with slaves and that there wasn’t anything in the bible that said it was wrong. Southerners also said that they were actually helping the slaves by taking them away from Africa against their will, saying that they are now educated and “happy”. One slave in the small county of Southampton county, Virginia, Nat Turner, will set a catalyst to what in thirty years will become the Civil War. Nat Turner’s fierce rebellion stroke fear into Southern slave owners and courage into slaves and abolitionists, and arguably could be a major reason for the Civil War.

In the 1830’s, in Southampton, blacks were treated differently there than they were in the “deep” south. Young blacks, before they were forced to work at age twelve, were actually allowed to play with the young whites until the blacks were sent to the fields and the whites were sent to school (7). Nat Turner was good friends with his master’s son John Clark Turner and Nathaniel Francis who was a white from another plantation. Nat, and other slaves, were allowed to visit other farms if they wanted, gather for religious purposes, and even go to Jerusalem, a nearby town, on Saturdays to see relatives and friends (3). When blacks went with their masters to church, they would sit in the back and after conduct their own religious meetings to sing or praise the Lord (3). Nat was very religious, not because he went to...
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