*Includes Turner's own words about his life and slave rebellion. *Includes a bibliography for further reading. *Includes a table of contents. “The late insurrection in Southampton has greatly excited the public mind, and led to a thousand idle, exaggerated and mischievous reports. It is the first instance in our history of an open rebellion of the slaves, and attended with such atrocious circumstances of cruelty and destruction, as could not fail to leave a deep impression, not only upon the minds of the community where this fearful tragedy was wrought, but throughout every portion of our country, in which this population is to be found.” – Thomas R. Gray, The Confessions of Nat Turner A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history’s most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors’ American Legends series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America’s most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. In American history, there are few people as controversial or consequential as Nat Turner, who was one of millions of slaves in the South before the Civil War but ultimately led the nation’s most notorious slave uprising. In August 1831, Turner led a rebellion that terrorized Virginia for several days, killing dozens of whites and freeing slaves as his band moved from plantation to plantation. The Richmond Enquirer reported, “A fanatic preacher by the name of Nat Turner (Gen. Nat Turner) who had been taught to read and write, and permitted to go about preaching in the country, was at the bottom of this infernal brigandage. He was artful, impudent and vindicative, without any cause or provocation, that could be assigned.” Even after the uprising was put down, Turner evaded capture for a few months, and after he was captured, his “confessions” were taken down and published before he was executed. Virginia would put a total of 56 slaves to death for the uprising. The repercussions of Nat Turner’s rebellion across the South cannot be overstated. The fear imposed by the uprising led states across the South to enforce even tougher codes on slaves; since Turner had been taught to read and write, states forbade slaves from being taught to read or assemble, and in the aftermath, whites also treated blacks even worse, with an estimated 200 blacks being killed in an outbreak of violence. But while Turner was demonized by whites and held out as a stereotype of what a typical slave might do if given the chance, he was lionized among other slaves and free blacks as providing an example “when the first should be last and the last should be first." The polarization helped harden opinions on both sides, paving the way for future events like John Brown’s attempted rebellion at Harpers Ferry in 1859. American Legends: The Life of Nat Turner examines the life of one of America’s most famous slaves. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Nat Turner and his rebellion like never before, in no time at all.