Fighting for Change: 7 Fascinating Facts About Nat Turner’s Historical Slave Revolt

Following years of torment and abuse at the hands of slave owners, slave-turned-educated preacher Nat Turner led a revolt on August 21, 1831. Ready for battle carrying knives and hatchets, Turner and seven of his followers incited a rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia.

This seemingly small event soon became a symbol of the slave movement, as the revolution grew to outstanding numbers within only 48 hours. The amount of slaves joining the fight led to a mounting number of deaths that even the local militia couldn’t stop swiftly.

Here, we refresh our minds of Nat Turner’s Rebellion, listing seven interesting facts surrounding one of the bloodiest upheavals in the history of slavery.

7. Turner Wanted to Make a Life for Himself Beyond That of a Slave


When Turner was a young boy of three or four years old, he claimed he could remember details of certain events that actually occurred before his birth. Shocked by his admission, his mother and those who heard the news took this as a clear sign that Turner was a messiah of sorts, who was intended for a higher purpose.

Turner also started demonstrating an advanced level of intelligence for his age, and he quickly learned how to read and write. He also had support from home, as his deeply-religious grandmother engaged him in Bible verse as well. With this early education, Turner was known for preaching to his fellow slaves.