The night was warm and black on this August evening. The masters of the houses were sleeping inside of their homes blissfully. Seven slaves squat around a fire as they make plans and schemes of how they would be able to taste freedom, their dark skins veiling them in the good night as they sung their songs under the moon above. How they would be able to escape from their captors and take their families elsewhere, somewhere much safer. Their activities came to a halt as one particular shade came to their meeting.
The thirty-one year old man had begun to think himself as a prophet, and was affectionately called so by his peers for his Baptist services. He taught himself how to read and to write, but he, for the most part, willingly knew and taught the ways of the Holy Bible by heart only, and others listened in on and were enthused by his brilliant preaching. His virtuoso philosophy not only had his fellow slaves’ attention, but his own master as well. At the end of each session, he would close the book with a smile, flattered that he cleansed the man from his earlier wickedness.
He took pride in his straining work on the pasture, as much as he detested it. He heard an almighty voice in his head, and although he has never seen a burning bush like Moses had, he knew that he had been chosen by God, for he had his visions to accompany him.
Although he cannot remember when these visions of his first started to arise, he had been following them devotedly ever since. They started to dictate a lot of actions he made soon enough. When he had first tried to run away from the plantation, his visions told him to go back as more needed to be done. He complied, and soon more of these visions began to arise. He saw the roots of freedom coming to fruition, with blood on the cornfields belonging to their slave laborers.
One night, he looked up at the skies and saw a black man’s hand grasp and close around the white sun, strangling it and bringing with it premature darkness across the earth. It was at that moment, the man smiled as he took this as a sign. He knew that his day was coming soon. As much as he wanted to start the planned Southampton County’s insurrection already, it was pushed back. Deliberation and illness held him back. More planning was required. He understood what the Lord was telling him, and waited for His message.
When the second solar eclipse came on this very brandy August night in 1831, he told the other six that this was the moment to strike, to sever and free themselves of the coil of the serpent and bring an end to the work of the Devil himself, to take justice in their own hands with their own farming tools. The first shall be the last, and the last shall be the first, so spoke the Prophet in an all inspiring speech, quoting the words from the Spirit. The seeds were planted. It was the perfect time to start a revolution.
The South was not ready for the storm that was ready to approach. Using more silent weapons, the group came across their first house. Sneaking through the back window, they watched the man of the house sleep ever so peacefully in his bed, which would become his tomb.
With carefulness, one of the men clapped the owner’s mouth with his mouth to silence him. The man woke at once, and muffled outcries began to come though the hand. Swiftly, the slaves began to work and started to stab the man’s chest repeatedly with hatchets and knives, disemboweling him mercilessly. The one covering his mouth waited until the silenced screams had ceased, and the light fading from the man’s eyes before they moved on to his wife. Their children received the less gruesome deaths; they suffered only a quick ax to the brain. Each bed was a crimson, wooden grave. The slaves of the house were scared by the time that the group came to them, but the minute that they mentioned their intentions were for vengeance and freedom, the group joined after a brief talking with their knowledgeable leader.
Was Christ not crucified?
From door to door, plantation to plantation, the slaves slew every white they would come across without much hesitation. At one point, they stole a cavalry after caving the owner’s skulls in with spare hammers lying around to the point where hair caked the ends of them, speeding up their godly message on horseback. The blood of sixty stained their hatchets and blades. The others looked to their chief for further guidance. The Prophet told them that they were exalted, and divine salvation along with liberty awaited them for their noble deeds, no matter how grisly they were.
But alas, their attempts were brought to a halt when the neighbor’s dogs detected the screaming, and smelt all the death in the air. Militias formed their own army that doubled the amount the slaves had. Blood must be shed.
During the next few months, the panicked white men began to lynch and torture every black man, woman and child that they happened to come across. Sons and daughters of man, who were only innocent in this rebellion, were slaughtered mercilessly as if they were expendable, inhuman animals being lead to the slaughterhouse as punishment, whether it was justified or not made no difference to them. They were scared, scared for themselves.
Six of the seven original conspirators of the rebellion were captured, some of which were killed upon their discovery, and it was not before long that the leader of the group was found himself. One day, while he exited his hiding place in Jerusalem, he was met with the barrel of a rifle aimed at his head. The farmer never shook as he held the gun up, and demanded who he was. With pride and glory and an unashamed smile, Nat Turner confessed to his actions.
The man who claimed himself as the forthcoming of Jesus Christ grinned widely as he walked towards the gallows, his chin up and standing tall as the noose was snugly wrapped around his throat when he was collared. He walked the path of a martyr, his rebellion ending with the kicking of his legs as he was dropped below the hangman’s stage.
His actions and deeds were recorded, written down and retold in history books. His body was hanged and skinned.