Nat Turner spent his whole life as a slave. He taught himself to read and write. He was deeply religious.He had been owned by a series of owners all in Southampton Country of Virginia. Turner began to believe he was seeing visions from god including one vision that he should begin a slave revolt. He began acquiring weapons.,mostly knives and axes. Turner gathered 70 slaves and free blacks and began his revolt on August 21, 1831. The rebels travled from house to house freeing slaves and killing all the white people they encountered. They spared the homes of poor whites. The state militia was called in and a force twice the size of Truners defeated the rebels not before over 50 whites had been killed. Turner initially escaped. All who participated in the slave revolt were killed as were at least 100 innocent blacks.Turner was finally captured in November and then hung.
After the rebellion fear gripped white areas of the South that another rebellion could happen. Laws were passed to make it illegal to teach slaves to read and write, and their travel was severely restricted.