Slave revolts: Prosser, Vesey, Turner
Actual slave revolts were extremely rare, but the knowledge that they were possible struck terror into the hearts of white southerners everywhere. In 1800, Gabriel Prosser gathered 1,000 rebellious slaves outside Richmond; but two Africans gave the plot away, and the Virginia militia stymied the uprising before it could begin. Prosser and 35 others were executed. In 1822, the Charleston free black Denmark Vesey and his followers�rumored to total 9,000�made preparations for revolt; but again word leaked out, and suppression and retribution followed. On a summer night in 1831, Nat Turner, a slave preacher, led a band of African Americans armed with guns and axes from house to house in Southhamption County, Virginia. They killed 60 white men, women, and children before being overpowered by State and federal troops. More than 100 blacks were executed in the aftermath. Nat Turner�s was the only actual slave insurrection in the 19th century South, but fear of slave conspiracies and renewed violence pervaded the section as long as slavery lasted.