October, 18 1831
THE BANDIT NAT TURNER
We understand by a letter from Fincastle of the 12th inst., that a negro man named Billy, belonging to Mr. Kennelly, was arrested on the 10th inst. on a charge of being concerned with Nat Turner in raising an insurrection in Botetourt County. He was carried before an Examining Court the next day, and sent on for further trial. It was generally suspected that Nat had been in the neighborhood for several days before he was seen on Price’s Mountain. The testimony against Billy was not very clear but “I think (says our correspondent) he only wanted an opportunity to do mischief.”
The Columbus (Georgia) Enquirer of the 8th speaks of some excitement in that town and neighborhood in consequence of letters from the Commanding Officer at Fort Mitchell—stating that the slaves on the Creek Nation had met in unusually large numbers, etc.—On investigating the facts, however, by a body of citizens who went for that purpose to the Agency, it does not appear that there was any very marked movement among the slaves and Indians—though precaution is still recommended. The C. Enquirer expresses its conviction that the Indian slave population had long exercised “a very corrupting influence on our negroes, and hopes that more efficient measures will hereafter be adopted in relation to the intercourse of the slaves of the Indians and whites, and that the government of our negroes will be more watchful and strict.”
Henry Irving Tragle, The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831: A Compilation of Source Material (Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), 123.