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primary sources for 16 November

Posted by amrich on November 16, 2009

Reward posting from the governer of Virginia for the capture of Nat Turner


this is a copied from a newpaper article about the capture of Nat Turner.

Post Office, Jerusalem, Va.,
31st Oct. 1831

“Messrs. Shields and Ashburn, Editors of the Beacon, Norfolk, Va.

Gentlemen — Last night the 30th inst. about 9 o’clock, news reached our little village that Gen. Nat was taken alive: today at a quarter after one o’clock, he reached this place, (well guarded) and was delivered into the hands of James W. Parker and James Trezevant, gentlemen, Justices, and after 1 1/2 or 2 hours close examination was committed to Prison. — During all the examination, he evinced great intelligence and such shrewdness of intellect, answering every questions clearly and distinctly, and without confusion or prevarication. He acknowledges himself a coward and says he was actuated to do what he did, from the influence of fanaticism, he says the attempt originated entirely with himself, and was not known by any other Negroes, but those to whom he revealed it a few days before, and then only 5 or 6 in number! — he acknowledges now that the revelation was misinterpreted by him, and says it was revealed to him not to follow the inclination of his spirit — he is now convinced that he has done wrong, and advises all other Negroes not to follow his example. He was taken about 12 o’clock on Sunday, in a Cave that he had just finished and gotten into; and while in the very act of fixing the bushes and bows to cover him, a gentleman by the name of Benjamin Phipps, walked up near the spot, and was only led to examine it by accidentally seeing the brush shake; after removing the covering he discovered Nat., and immediately pointed to kill him with his gun, but he exclaimed “don’t shoot and I will give up,” he then threw his sword from the Cave, that being his only weapon, and came out and went with Mr. Phipps, until they reached some other gentlemen, when after staying at the Keys all night they proceeded here today.”

Respectfully, T. Trezevant, P.M.

These are the Confessions of Nat Turner, which I found rather interesting. Note the lack of remorse.


One Response to “primary sources for 16 November”

  1. sethrd23 said

    Regarding the reward poster: They certainly seem to use some vague language in the description of Nat Turner’s appearance. I wonder if any slave-owners (being so accustomed to seeing black people as property) would be able to distinguish between Nat Turner (as he is described) and any other black person.

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