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William Drewry, The Southampton Insurrection, 1900


p. 111: Nansemond County executed one slave for conspiracy and rebellion in 1831, “though thirty or forty were tried.”


Surry County transported one slave in 1831 for participation in the Southampton insurrection.


Four slaves in Sussex County were executed “and two transported in 1831 for suspicious connection with the same plot.”


Greenesville had none executed and none transported before or during 1831.



p. 157:

“A gentleman of Nansemond says: ‘I have often been told that the plans for the insurrection were laid at Barnes’ Church, at a protracted meeting, the Sunday preceding the night the conspirators commenced their cruel work. I have also often heard that there were a great many negroes from around Winton, North Carolina, and other places quite a distance from the church. I have often been told by my mother, who lived in Nansemond county, about four miles from the Southampton county line, and more than twenty miles from this (Barnes’) church, that an old negro (Moses) in the family, who was considered a bad character, to the surprise of the family, asked permission the week before to attend the meeting. As soon as the insurrection was reported, of course, this singular request was explained. But the report of their laying their plans at this church seemed to conflict with Nat’s confession, unless this was another part which was to act in concert with him and failed to do so.’[1] The whites were conducting a revival service at Barnes’ on the 14th of August, and many negroes were present who had the privilege of worshiping with the whites and also of attending services conducted by preachers of their own color. Nat preached on this date, and seemed to have gained many sympathizers, who signified their willingness to co-operate with him by wearing around their necks red bandanna handkerchiefs, and who in many ways showed their rebellious spirit.[2] This behavior was not understood until after the insurrection.



[1] Dr. W. H. Daughtry, Sunbeam, Virginia

[2] They tried to ride over white people.


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