Slave Rebellions: Denmark Vesey

From britishschoolriyadh:

Nat_turner Very few, if any, African-Americans accepted their status as slaves. Most, if not all, slave-owners were completely aware of this and, in general, they lived in fear of the African-Americans under the control. They were constantly afraid of the slaves running away, rebelling etc. Yes, there were rebellions. Here are 2 main ones:

Gabriel Posser: he was a deep Christian and definitely against slavery. He lay many plans to abolish slavery, however, he was defeated. However, this rebellion laid out the fear over the slave-owners… He was definitely an example, which inspired other people to rebel like he did.

Denmark Vesey: he was an African-American and came from the ‘upper class of slaves’, who worked as engineers, craftsmen etc. Still, he was FILLED with anger about the way people treated the black slaves. In 1821 he began to build up his own revolt. He organized a group of working lieutenants (Gullah Jack, Peter Poyas). By 1822, almost all the slaves around joined. Their plan was very simple. The rebels would all station themselves at the doors of European-Americans and, late at night, a group of rebels would start a major fire. When the men came out their doors, the rebels would kill them with axes, picks, or guns. They would then enter the houses and kill all the occupants. Like Prosser's revolt, they almost won. They were betrayed early in the game, but the cell structure prevented officials from finding out the plot itself or identifying any of the leaders. It was only the day before that a slave, who knew the entire plot, betrayed Vesey. He and his co-leaders were hung, but only one confessed.

Thomas Wentworth Higginson writing in June 1861 in The Atlantic:

Slavex Denmark Vesey had come very near figuring as a revolutionist in Hayti, instead of South Carolina. Captain Vesey, an old resident of Charleston, commanded a ship that traded between St. Thomas and Cape Français, during our Revolutionary War, in the slave-transportation line. In the year 1781 he took on board a cargo of three hundred and ninety slaves, and sailed for the Cape. On the passage, he and his officers were much attracted by the beauty and intelligence of a boy of fourteen, whom they unanimously adopted into the cabin as a pet. They gave him new clothes and a new name, Télémaque, which was afterwards gradually corrupted into Telmak and Denmark. They amused themselves with him until their arrival at Cape Français, and then, “having no use for the boy,” sold their pet as if he had been a macaw or a monkey. Captain Vesey sailed for St. Thomas, and presently making another trip to Cape Français, was surprised to hear from his consignee that Télémaque would be returned on his hands as being “unsound,” — not in theology nor in morals, but in body, — subject to epileptic fits, in fact. According to the custom of that place, the boy was examined by the city physician, who required Captain Vesey to take him back; and Denmark served him faithfully, with no trouble from epilepsy, for twenty years, travelling all over the world with him, and learning to speak various languages. In 1800, he drew a prize of fifteen hundred dollars in the East Bay Street Lottery, with which he bought his freedom from his master for six hundred dollars, — much less than his market value. From that time, the official report says, he worked as a carpenter in Charleston, distinguished for physical strength and energy.”Among those of his color he was looked up to with awe and respect.

More here.