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Governor’s Proclamation of a Reward

for the Capture of Nat Turner

September 17, 1831


By the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


A Proclamation


Whereas the slave Nat, otherwise called Nat Turner, the contriver and leader of the late Insurrection in Southampton, is still going at large: Therefore I, John Floyd, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, have thought proper, and hereby offer a reward of five hundred dollars to any person or persons who will apprehend and convey to the Jail at Southampton County, the said slave Nat: and I do moreover require all officers civil and military, and exhort the good people of the Commonwealth to use their best endeavours to cause the said fugitive to be apprehended, that he may be dealt with as the law directs.


                                      Given under my hand as Governor, and

                                      under the lesser seal of the Commonwealth

                                      at Richmond, this 17th day of September


                                                  John Floyd


[reverse side]


Nat is between 30 & 35 years old, 5 feet 6 or 8 inches high,

weighs between 150 and 160 lbs, rather bright complexion, but

not a mulatto--broad shouldered--large flat nose--large eyes--broad

flat feet--rather knock-kneed--walks brisk and active--hair on the

top of the head very thin-no beard except on the upper lip, and

the tip of the chin--a scar on one of his temples--also one on the

back of his neck--a large knob on one of the bones of his right

arm near the wrist produced by a blow.



From Henry Irving Tragle, The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831: A Compilation of Source Material (Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), pp. 422-424.


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