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Richmond (Virginia) Enquirer,

September 2, 1831




        We understand the Governor has received further dispatches from Southampton, Nansemond, Isle of Wight and Prince George—The people are upon the alert, as they ought to be. No further act has transpired to break the quiet peace—but rumors sufficient to keep alive the vigilance of the people. Gen. Eppes writes to the Governor on the 30th (Tuesday) that everything was quiet in Southampton, and he thought was likely to continue so—but in consequence of the dispatches received from Nansemond and the Isle of Wight, a Council of War has been held, at which it was determined that as a precautionary measure, a strong patrol in these counties ought to be kept up. . . . The investigations were going on as to the conduct of the blacks, who were confined in the jail of Jerusalem. The number of prisoners had not materially varied—for, as fast as some were discharged, others were brought in under suspicion. The P.S. of Gen. E.’s letter states, that a negro man has just been brought in as a prisoner, by the name of Sam, the slave of Mr. Francis. He has been concerned in the massacre and had been on the of [sic] the active leaders—but he denied that there had been anything like a general concert among the slaves. It was confined to the immediate neighborhood of the scene—The trials of the prisoners were about to commence in Southampton. Some blacks (perhaps 40 or 50) had been thrown into jail in Nansemond under suspicion.


        It is reported that a map was found and said to have been drawn by Nat Turner, with poke-berry juice which was descriptive of the county of Southampton. . . . Everything is perfectly [p. 59] quiet on this side of the James River.—Not the slightest circumstance had transpired, unless it be the arrest in New Kent of a slave from Prince George, who said that he had been carrying dispatches (verbal message) through a black preacher in P. George to the opposite side of the river—which dispatches were said to come from another black preacher below.


        The Executive has sent arms to Prince George and Mecklenburg, as a precautionary measure. . . . The law against unlawful assemblies of the colored people should be especially put into execution.



Henry Irving Tragle, The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831: A Compilation of Source Material (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), 58-59.

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