Essay on The Confessions Of Nat Turner

842 Words Dec 8th, 2016 4 Pages
“The Confessions of Nat Turner, the Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, Va,” details the slave uprising that occurred in August 1831 that left more than 50 whites dead and more than 60 slaves put to trial. The pamphlet was the basis of the best-selling, Pulitzer-winning novel by William Styron. It is described as an “authentic account of the whole insurrection” by Thomas R. Gray who elicited the confession from Turner. Although Gray, a wealthy Southampton lawyer and slave owner during the 1830s, represented many enslaved people during the trials and wake of Turner’s slave rebellion, he was not empathetic to the plight. Gray sought to explore Turner’s reasoning and satisfy public curiosity surrounding the rebellion.
Over the span of thirty-six hours from August 21-22, enslaved people, led by Turner, revolted against whites in Virginia. Almost all of those involved, including Turner, or suspected of involvement in the rebellion were put to death. Turner was found some time after his cohorts were discovered and tried. Following his discovery and capture, Gray interviewed Turner in Turner’s jail cell, and the work was used against Turner during his trial. The repercussions of this rebellion were severe, it caused ripples throughout the white community, slaves who were not involved in the rebellion were murdered out of suspicion. Gray clearly states that the insurrection sent shock waves through the community, whites were unable to grasp why Turner and others could…

Related Documents