Updated:
Original:
Year
1831
Month Day
November 11

Nat Turner executed in Virginia

Nat Turner, the leader of a bloody slave revolt in Southampton County, Virginia, is hanged in Jerusalem, the county seat.

Turner, a slave and educated minister, believed that he was chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery. On August 21, 1831, he initiated his slave uprising by slaughtering Joseph Travis, his slave owner, and Travis’ family. With seven followers, Turner set off across the countryside, hoping to rally hundreds of slaves to join his insurrection. Turner planned to capture the county armory at Jerusalem, Virginia, and then march 30 miles to Dismal Swamp, where his rebels would be able to elude their pursuers.

During the next two days and nights, Turner and 75 followers rampaged through Southampton County, killing about 60 whites. Local whites resisted the rebels, and then the state militia–consisting of some 3,000 men–crushed the rebellion. Only a few miles from Jerusalem, Turner and all his followers were dispersed, captured, or killed. In the aftermath of the rebellion, scores of African Americans were lynched, though many of them had not participated in the revolt. Turner himself was not captured until the end of October, and after confessing without regret to his role in the bloodshed, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. On November 11, he was hanged in Jerusalem.

Turner’s rebellion was the largest slave revolt in U.S. history and led to a new wave of oppressive legislation prohibiting the movement, assembly, and education of slaves.

Tags
terms:
Riots

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

World War I ends

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiégne, France. The First ...read more

Dedication of the Tomb of the Unknowns

Exactly three years after the end of World War I, the Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia during an Armistice Day ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding. Two days before, an unknown American soldier, who had fallen somewhere on a ...read more

The General Lee jumps into history

On this day in 1978, a stuntman on the Georgia set of “The Dukes of Hazzard”launches the show’s iconic automobile, a 1969 Dodge Charger named the General Lee, off a makeshift dirt ramp and over a police car. That jump, 16 feet high and 82 feet long (its landing totaled the car), ...read more

World War I ends

At 11 o’clock in the morning of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the World War I–known at the time as the Great War–comes to an end. By the end of autumn 1918, the alliance of the Central Powers was unraveling in its war effort against the better supplied and coordinated ...read more

Draft age is lowered to 18

On this day in 1942, Congress approves lowering the draft age to 18 and raising the upper limit to age 37. In September 1940, Congress, by wide margins in both houses, passed the Burke-Wadsworth Act, and the first peacetime draft was imposed in the history of the United States. ...read more