September 15, 1831
Extract of a letter from Southampton, to a gentleman in Richmond, dated
Cedardale, Sept. 4, 1831
We expected you would be a little uneasy about us, from the many rumors that were abroad in the land.
It came upon us as unexpectedly as anything possibly could, and produced a pretty general panic, especially among our females. In fact it was a desperate affair. I have been engaged three or four days trying these scoundrels: 14 have been tried- 13 of whom have been condemned and one acquitted—these are some of the principal offenders. There are a number still in jail: about forty is [sic] supposed to have been shot in the woods and other places. One of the leaders, a free fellow, was found shot two days ago: supposed by his own hand, and his hat was hung on a stake near him, and his pistol lying by him—so that all have been taken and destroyed, except their principal leader, Capt. Nat. This fellow is very improperly represented to be a Baptist Preacher. I wish you to see the Editors of your papers on the subject, and say to them that that account, from the best information I can obtain, is an entire mistake. He never was a member of the Baptist, or any other Church; he assumed that character of his own accord, and has been for several years one of those fanatical scoundrels, that pretended to be divinely inspired; of bad character, and never countenanced except by a very few of his deluded black associates. To give this explanation is an act of justice to which I am sure they will readily accord.
Henry Irving Tragle, The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831: A Compilation of Source Material (Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), 80.