Nat Turner (October 2, 1800 – November 11, 1831)

Born on Oct. 2, 1800, in Southampton County, Va., the week before Gabriel was hanged, Nat Turner impressed family and friends with an unusual sense of purpose, even as a child. Driven by prophetic visions and joined by a host of followers — but with no clear goals — on August 22, 1831, Turner and about 70 armed slaves and free blacks set off to slaughter the white neighbors who enslaved them.

The heroism and sacrifices of these freedom fighters would be a prelude to the noble performance of some 200,000 black men who served so very courageously in the Civil War, the war that finally put an end to the evil institution that in 1860 chained some 3.9 million human beings to perpetual bondage and killed millions more.

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