Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Impact Of The Denmark Vesey Rebellion

Share on :
By Carissa Glenn

The Denmark Vesey rebellion is a fascinating historical event that had monumental consequences for the slave population of the southern states. Vesey was probably born in Haiti around the year 1767 and lived there as a slave whilst still a young man. He was at some point taken to Charleston, South Carolina and worked as a house slave to a white owner.

Vesey is a mysterious character and very little is known about his early life. He grew up a slave on the island of Haiti and was taken to the United States as a young man. After arriving in Charleston, South Carolina he was bought by a wealthy man and used as a house slave. His life would probably have remained uneventful had he not won a city lottery for the amazing sum of $1,500. This was a fortune in those days and he was able to buy his freedom.

The plan was to rebel against the white overseers and owners on July 14, 1822. The date is significant as it is Bastille Day and represents freedom for the masses. The plot was well known throughout a large are including the city of Charleston and the surrounding coastal areas. Eventually two people who were against it turned the conspirator in to the authorities. Over one hundred and twenty people were arrested, sixty seven were convicted and thirty five were hanging, including the man who's name is now linked to the plot.

Unfortunately for Vesey two people who were not sympathetic to the plot turned them in and the authorities immediately began to arrest anyone thought to have a connection. Over one hundred and fifty people were arrested and thirty five of those were hanged. This was a massive event that led to far reaching consequences for those left behind.

The South Carolina Association was set up to draft a strict set of rules to control the slaves. These included the destruction of many of the slave churches including Vesey's. There were also new rules restricting the slave owners right of manumission of their slaves. This meant that an owner who wanted to free his slave was already facing obstacles and restrictions.

The terrified whites of Charleston quickly formed the South Carolina Association which placed severe restrictions on all the black inhabitants of the state. Even free blacks were no longer allowed to move around at their own will. The needed their white guardians recommendations to their good character to be able to travel in or out of the state.

Slave owners were faced with restrictions on their right of manumission for their slave. Even an owner who wished to free his own slaves was now facing problems. Black sailors on ships in Charleston harbor were forcibly imprisoned. This law was overturned as it was clearly unconstitutional.

Even today scholars dispute the extent of the plot. Many feel that it was not as widespread as the white population thought and things were exaggerated to justify the new restrictions. It is likely that no one will ever really know the true extent of the Denmark Vesey rebellion. We do however know the devastation legacy of this failed plot to give the slaves their freedom.

About the Author:


Post a Comment

@ 2012 GoBuyingBook.Blogspot.Com | Reviews and Buying Guide Book
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...