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Slave Resistance

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  • March 2007
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Enslaved African Americans resisted slavery in a variety of active and passive ways. "Day-to-day resistance" was the most common form of opposition to slavery. Breaking tools, feigning illness, staging slowdowns, and committing acts of sabotage—were all forms of resistance and expression of slaves' alienation from their masters. Running away was another form of resistance. Most slaves ran away relatively short distances and were not trying to permanently escape from slavery. I have chosen to talk about five different instances when slaves rebelled or revolted. The five revolts I chose to discuss throughout my paper are Denmark. Vesey ‘s Slave Revolt of 1822, the New Orleans Louisiana Revolt of January 1811, the New York City Slave Rebellion of 1712, Gabriel Prosser's Rebellion of 1800, and the Stono Rebellion of 1739. One slave revolt was Denmark Vesey's Slave Revolt of 1822. Vesey was a free black man who lived in the south and did not agree with slavery. He was inspired from many stories dealing with freedom and bondage that he read in the bible. He began to organize a major rebellion that would take place in Charleston in 1822. While planning out this rebellion Vesey and his men would separate into small cells, that way if one group was caught the others would survive.

Vesey's plan was to have armed slaves outside of the white men's house at night. While certain slaves were outside of the white man's house the other group of slaves would start a major fire in the city. As the while males would come out of their house to see what was going on, the slaves would shoot the white men.

This may have seemed like a good plan to Vesey because he thought his plan would work. Little did he know that someone had betrayed them before the attack had even started. One of Vesey's companions had turned him in way before the revolt was supposed to happen. Vesey and his men were hung, however, because this attack was planned, many southern slave owners were...