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date: 17 February 2020

Gabriel Prosser Conspiracylocked

One of the first attempted American slave rebellions.
  • Alonford James Robinson

Extract

The Gabriel Prosser Conspiracy of 1800 was one of the earliest and most extensively planned Slave Rebellions in the United States. The plan, which was drawn up by a slave named Gabriel Prosser, called for slaves to seize weapons, kill their white masters, and free thousands of fellow slaves throughout Virginia. If a tumultuous thunderstorm and an act of betrayal had not undermined the plot, many historians believe the rebellion would have been successful.

The word conspiracy was the description used by whites at that time The word conveyed the unwillingness of most slave holding whites to recognize the widespread discontent in the slave community The word also suggests the fear of slave uprisings that gripped antebellum white Southerners Virginia was no exception Stories of the bloody Haitian slave revolts and the fiery congressional debates over slavery made their way throughout slave communities In Virginia as in ...

A version of this article originally appeared in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience.

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