From 1823 to 1831, Hark Moore and Nat Turner lived together the farm belonging first to Captain Henry Moore and later to Joseph Travis. They were the only two adult male slaves on the property at the time of the rebellion. Evidence suggests Hark was perhaps a year younger than Nat Turner, who turned 31 on October 2, 1831.
“Colonel Worth, who saw Hark after his capture, said he was one of the most perfectly framed men he ever saw--a regular black Apollo.”
Who were Hark’s owners?
Hark Moore’s earliest master was Edmund Turner Jr. Edmund died in 1821 and Hark was sent to work under Jarrell Turner. Moore appropriated Hark in 1823 after the death of Jarrall. Thomas Moore went to his grave in 1827 and Hark remained under the ownership of Moore’s widow. Eventually, Moore’s widow married Joseph Travis and Hark became the property of Joseph. Hark would remain on the Travis farm until 1831 when he and Nat rebelled.
“General Moore, who occasionally figures as second in command, in the newspaper narratives of that day, was probably the Hark or Hercules before mentioned; as no other of the confederates had belonged to Mrs. Travis, or would have been likely to bear her previous name of Moore.”
Did Hark have a wife?
Among the slaves of Joseph Reese Sr., were Jack Reese and Jack's sister. Allegedly Hark Moore married Jack's sister and they had a son named Tom. The woman that was suppossedly Hark's wife was named Edith.
"Hark had Jack’s sister for a wife"
What did Hark do during the revolt?
Hark Moore recruited Jack Reese to the cause and joined with Nat in revolt on August 21, 1831. Hark would be one of the commanders in the revolt. He even took his former master’s title and was referred to as “Captain Moore.”
“Levi Waller was sworn as a witness for the Commonwealth and says that he saw the prisoner Hark in the yard with a number of insurgent negroes on Monday 22d August 1831 with a gun in his hands that the prisoner acted as one of the company of the insurgents—he heard the rest of the insurgents call the prisoner Captain Moore.”
What happened to Hark?
Hark Moore would be captured when he led an unsuccessful assault on Dr. Samuel Blunt’s house. He appeared in court on September 3, 1831, and was sentenced to death.
“They made an attack upon Mr. Blunt, a gentleman who was very unwell with the gout, and who instead of flying determined to brave them out. He had several pieces of firearms, perhaps seven or eight, and he put them into the hands of his own slaves, who nobly and gallantly stood by him. They repelled the brigands—killed one, wounded and took prisoner (Gen. Moore), and we believe took a third who was not wounded at all.”
See David F. Allmendinger, Nat Turner and the Rising in Southampton County (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2014), for more information about Hark Moore.