Slave Rebellion and Sectionalism
In the early 1800’s, slavery was very common among certain parts of the United States, especially in the South. Slave owners had the right to beat, brand or imprison slaves for small offenses. The severe actions of slave owners towards their slaves led to several revolts and rebellions. “From the earliest days of the peculiar institution, resistance was a constant feature of American slavery.” (Slave Rebellions) A few of these notorious rebellions included Gabriel Prosser’s Rebellion of 1800, The German Coast Uprising of 1811, and Nat Turner’s Rebellion of 1831. Many revolts occurred in the South of the United States instead of the North. Because of this, slave rebellions tie into sectionalism in the United States. An early rebellion in the United States was Gabriel Prosser’s Rebellion, although it can hardly be called a rebellion at all. Prosser was born into slavery at Brookfield, a tobacco plantation in Henrico County, Virginia. During the summer of 1800, Prosser planned a slave resistance. On August 30th, Prosser intended to lead slaves into Richmond. Prosser and his group planned on killing almost any white person they encountered with the exception of few people. “The rebels planned to march on Richmond from surrounding plantations, seize the city arsenal, and kill all the white residents except Quakers and Methodists (many of whom were opposed to slavery)” (“Slave Rebellions”)
Unfortunately for him, he had to postpone the revolt due to stormy weather. Gabriel’s owners grew suspicious and were eventually able to find out about his planned revolt. “The purpose of the rebels was clearly expressed in a banner under which they planned to march, which eloquently stated ‘DEATH OR LIBERTY.’ The assault planned for August 30, 1800, however, never came together. Torrential rain caused confusion and a traitor from within the group warned white authorities of the impending attack.” (Gabriel’s Rebellion: Another look of...
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