The Allegory of Nat Turner

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

“Qualities of a moral order are measured by deeds.”KMT Proverb

This here is the allegory of Nat Turner.  This ancestor loved us and showed it.  If you love his example, write the ABS to help build African Blood Siblings Community Centers.  Subscribe, share, love.

The Allegory of Nat Turner
By Onitaset Kumat

The story of Nat Turner’s (1800 – 1831) begins with his father’s successful return to Africa.  When Nat Turner attempted the same, he was caught and brutalized.  He reasoned that God wanted him to escape with his people; thereafter, this was his concentration.

He heard voices bidding him to arise and free his people.  “Such is your luck,” “Such you are called to see. Let it come rough or smooth.  You must surely bear it.”  He also saw the sky morph to forecast a victory of Africans over Europeans, for God is on our side.  Finally, on May 12, 1828, the Holy Spirit appeared to him, told him the yoke of Jesus had fallen on him, and that Nat Turner must prepare to fight the serpent.  The Holy Spirit also advised Nat to keep his lips sealed until he sees the sign in the sky.

In February, 1831, the sign came.  The sun was eclipsed and from the heavens was a voice with this message: “Arise and slay the enemies of God with their own weapons.”

Nat Turner trembeled, but thereafter broke the seal.  Having watched fellow his fellow enslaved Africans, he divulged his plans to the trustworthy and they recommended more.  At noon, Sunday, August 31, 1831, seven of them, Henry, Hercules, Nelson, Sam, Will, Jack and Nat went to the woods, laying plans and taking oaths of liberty–or death.  They planned to attack the Europeans in Southampton County, Virginia, where Nat Turner was born, then retreat to Dismal Swamp where they would make a headquarters.

Their planning ended at midnight.  The head of the plantation slept in his bed, when Nat Turner snuck into the mansion, took all the weapons they could find and tiptoed up to the head’s bedroom.

Nat raised his hatchet and cut the sleeper’s head.  The European awokened and shouted for help when Will brained him.

There the wife ran in and met a similar fate.  Before Nat Turner and company left the house, all other four members, including the baby were no more.

Nat Turner had his regrets, but remembered that his people were stolen from Africa and mistreated ever since.  In addition, he properly forecasted that the Europeans would do far worse if ever they gained the upper hand.


The seven of Nat Turner’s ilk mounted horses and proceeded to the next plantation.

Before morning, they had an army of fifty, surrounding different mansions,  holding it seiged until foot soldiers went in for the slaughter.  In this way, some fifty Europeans were killed and no African died.

Finally, nearing the county seat called Jeruselam, Nat meant to surprise the inhabitants, and kill them before news went to Richmond or Peterburg.  There he could seize arms, ammunition, and money.  He gave the order to march, and his small army killed every European met on the way.

However, when they came to the gates of the Parker plantation, much before Jeruselam, someone suggested they go in, kill the Europeans and pick up more recruits.  Nat Turner objected as time was pressing, but the majority thought otherwise and Nat Turner yielded.  This was where this triumphant act wavered.

Forty of the men went to the mansion six miles away: Nat and the remainder stayed behind to block the roadway.  Hours passed.  After Nat left the roadway to search for his men; armed Europeans appeared to bluff the Africans into submission.  Nat Turner returned to hear the Europeans shout to the Africans that they should drop their guns on penalty of a whipping.  Nat Turner had to remind them, though it speaks to us too, that they were no longer creatures of the banjo or the shakedown, but soldiers of Christ fighting for the right.  He then gave the orders to fire.  The Europeans fled, leaving behind their dead or wounded.

Nat Turner dashed after them, cutting them down, but the survivors ran into a strong body of reinforcements which in their encounter made Nat Turner’s army flee.

Still, with the twenty, he insisted that the attack on Jeruselam be made.  They hesitated.  He picked up twenty more recruits and attacked the plantation of Major Ridley.  The next day, reaching Dr. Hunt’s plantation, Nat Turner encountered organized Europeans.  He told his men to scatter, but instructed they meet up that night.  No one showed.  Nat Turner then took to the woods.

In the meantime, the news had reached Richmond and the United States government had been appealed to.  It sent two warships along with 800 marines to keep us in slavery.  The Virginia State Militia was also organized–these groups are the ancestors of today’s Europeans in America.

Since this organization, an indiscriminate slaughter of Africans began.  On the first day alone, fully one-hundred Africans were killed (Nat Turner’s efforts killed roughly 55 Europeans.)  Still other Africans were tortured.

Further, a full six hundred Europeans with bloodhounds mobilized to find Nat Turner.  Nat Turner was successfully hiding in a hole in the woods for six weeks.  Unfortunately, by accident, he had left fresh meat in the hiding space and a dog came in and ate it, returning the next day, with a group of enslaved Africans, to eat again.  Then, Nat was in the hole and the dog barked wildly.  When the Africans investigated, Nat Turner, believing they had come in search of him, begged them not to betray him.

But they did.  They ran straight to the Europeans who sent 1,000 (!!) armed men to find Nat Turner, who then was hiding in a tree.  Threathened with being shot, he gave himself up.

A few days later, he was brought to court, attended by thousands who wished to catch a glimpse of he who had spread the fear of insurrection in all of the slave states.  His lawyer, Gray said this of him, “Clothed with rags, covered with chains, yet daring to raise his manacled hands to heaven, with a spirit soaring above the attributes of men, I looked at him, and my blood froze in my veins.”

On November 11, 1831, Nat Turner was hanged, serenely walking to the gallows, knowing our God was with him.  There wasn’t a “Veterans Day” in 1831, but certainly every 11th of November should memoralize Nat Turner’s sacrifice.

Nat Turner possesses the African genius within all of us Africans.  And his love of righteousness was only outmatched by the European’s lust for wickedness.  Take notice to how many Europeans were mobilized at the hint of our liberation.  Take notice to how many Africans were punished because Africans, kidnapped individuals, wanted to return to their lands and live freely.  Take notice to who, despite the European’s mobilization, finally found Nat Turner and who his capture depended on–Africans.  Finally take notice to when Nat Turner’s ploy began to fail.  In your life, you will express your genius and it will be contrary to another’s instinct: I tell you this follow your genius!  I love every participant in Nat Turner’s raid, but the failure related not to the heavy opposition, of which there was plenty, but in the internal opposition from our being unsure of our place.  We must plan to succeed, then keep instincts to the plan.  Otherwise, the uncalculated may prove our downfall.  For our enemy is a hateful one.  We must stick to the course of liberation: the punishment for liberty and slavery are the same–death.

Live long, live strong, live for Africans!

Hotep!
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Note:  For the history of Nat Turner, I am indebted to our beloved ancestor, J. A. Rogers.

2 thoughts on “The Allegory of Nat Turner

  1. Matari

    “In your life, you will express your genius and it will be contrary to another’s instinct: I tell you this follow your genius! I love every participant in Nat Turner’s raid, but the failure related not to the heavy opposition, of which there was plenty, but in the internal opposition from our being unsure of our place.”

    You’re right of course! One needs to know when to keep his mouth shut – for the opposition has ears – everywhere. Thank you for doing your part in keeping the TRUTH alive!

    Reply
    1. Onitaset Post author

      I thank you, for sharing my ancestry, both physically and mentally. Your instructions are as Martin Delany instructed in 1865: “Stand still and see the salvation.” His novel, “Blake; or, The Huts of America,” is freely available at utc.iath.virginia.edu/africam/blakehp.html. According to this site, Martin Delany meant “wait and plot in secret until the signal for the insurrection comes.” You are wise Matari. Please continue to grace this site.

      Reply

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