Richmond (Virginia) Constitutional Whig,
August 23, 1831
Disagreeable rumors having reached this city of an insurrection of the slaves in Southampton County, with loss of life, in order to correct exaggerations, and at the same time to induce all salutary caution, we state the following particulars.
An express from the Hon. James Trezevant states that an insurrection had broken out, that several families had been murdered, and that the negroes were embodied, requiring a considerable military force to reduce them.
The names and precise numbers of the families is not mentioned. A letter from the Postmaster corroborates the intelligence. Prompt and efficient measures are being taken by the Governor, to call up a sufficient force to put down the insurrection, and place lower Virginia on its guard.
Serious danger, of course, there is none. The deluded wretches have rushed on assured destruction.
The Fayette Artillery and the Light Dragoons leave here this evening for Southampton—the artillery to go in a Steamboat, and the Troop by land.
We understand that the insurrection in Southampton is little more than the irruption [sic] of 150 or 200 runaway slaves from the Dismal Swamp, incited by a spirit of plunder and rapine. It will be quickly suppressed.
Henry Irving Tragle, The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831: A Compilation of Source Material (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1971, 35-6.