Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford African American Studies Center. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 February 2020

Turner, Nat locked

(2 Oct. 1800?–11 Nov. 1831),
  • Douglas R. Egerton

Extract

abolitionist and rebel, was born on the Virginia plantation of Benjamin Turner, the child of an enslaved woman named Nancy; the name of his father, also a slave, has not been recorded. Little is known about either parent. Family tradition holds that Nancy landed in Norfolk in 1795, the slave of a refugee fleeing the revolt in Saint Domingue (Haiti). Evidence indicates that after being purchased by Turner, Nancy was used as a domestic servant. Later in life, Nat Turner insisted that his father ran away when Nat was still a boy.

Early on blacks and whites alike came to regard Nat as unusually gifted Upon being given a book the boy quickly learned how to read a source of wonder to all in the neighborhood As a devout Methodist Benjamin Turner was not only aware of Nat s literacy he even encouraged him to read ...

A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription