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Insurrection Scares


In the months following the Southampton revolt, whites in various southern localities suspected that the slaves in their communities were likewise plotting to kill their white owners. Numerous counties in Virginia experienced insurrection scares, as did several North Carolina towns and various Low County districts in South Carolina.


In Spotsylvania County, Virginia, slaves were tried in September for plotting a rebellion for the previous July 4, the same day Nat Turner had originally set for the Southampton revolt. Several slaves in Duplin and Sampson Counties, North Carolina, were put on trial in November, and some were summarily executed.

Background Image:

Thomas Moran's painting Slave Hunt depicts the Great Dismal Swamp, a refuge for runaway slaves near Southampton County.

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