Type
Essay
Pages
3 pages
Word Count
1107 words
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N/A
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Newspaper Accounts of Nat Turner’s Insurrection

April 24, 2016
Newspaper Accounts of Nat Turner’s Insurrection
Nat Turner and his uprising struck fear into some, and ignited others against one another.
There was no clear, concise “right or wrong” argument regarding the uprising. Nat
Turner’s reasoning could be misconstrued and utilized to make him look like a
cold-blooded murderer, while others saw a deeper reasoning behind his intentions. While
there are facts regarding the killings, multiple publications reported the situation in their
own ways - appeasing their audience.
One of the publications, The Richmond Enquirer, sided with the slaveowners and masters
in the situation. They went on to claim that Nat Turner was “...artful, impudent, and
vindictive, without any cause or provocation.” (Richmond Enquirer, page 1). Nat Turner
did have a cause, though. He was treated nicely by his master, but other slaves were not
treated as well. In fact, some were treated much worse. The Richmond Enquirer also goes
on to say that Turner had threatened the slaves - as they imply by saying “...And by
importunity or threats they prevailed upon 20 or others to cooperate in the scheme of
massacre...” (Richmond Enquirer, page 1). This statement could be doubted as it had
seemed to be a large scale revolution with cause that had created a terrible aftermath. The
revolution that large shows that a vast amount of slaves were angry with how things were
and their mistreatment. The publication goes on to lay a bit of blame on Turner’s owner,
Mr. Travis. Turner had said Mr. Travis had treat him well, and that his intelligence was put
to good use by learning how to read and write. The Richmond Enquirer first
Kalina Robles History 17 Professor Lan
introduces Nat Turner and immediately follows up with the fact that he was taught to
read and write. It obviously was a huge deal at the time because it was immediately stated
after his name was first mentioned - “A fanatic preacher by the name of Nat Turner (Gen.
Nat Turner) who had been taught to read and write...” (Richmond Enquirer, page 1). One
major point that indicates the Richmond Enquirer sided with the slaveowners is the fact
that they had stated that owners treat their slaves well. They imply this by stating the
slaves are “...the property of kind and indulgent masters...”. It seems that slaveowners
would least be described as “kind and indulgent” as masters would often abuse their slaves
and treat them poorly. The Richmond Enquirer account in summation seems to be an

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