Denmark Vesey

1002 WordsApr 25, 20025 Pages
Denmark Vesey was an African-American leader of an attempted slave insurrection in 1822. After many years as a slave, he won $1,500 in a lottery. Vesey used this money to purchase his freedom. He used his intelligence, energy, and luck to acquire considerable wealth and influence in South Carolina. All of these factors helped lead to the largest attempted slave revolt in American history. David Robertson's book Denmark Vesey outlines his life as a slave, to his freedom, to his execution, and the consequences of the aftermath. South Carolina was one of the only states in which the black slaves and abolitionists outnumbered their oppressors. Denmark Vesey's slave revolt consisted of over nine-thousand armed slaves, free blacks, and…show more content…
In their "church meetings," they planned to assassinate the governor and other highly elected state officials. They also intended to set the city on fire, and then murder the entire white population of the city, including women and children. Only the lives of those who were captains of the ships that would help the rebels escape to either Haiti or Africa, would be spared. The plot of the revolt is a significant incident in American history, with just the thought of it actually occurring enough to terrify citizens of South Carolina. The Denmark Vesey rebellion is most remembered because of its closeness to success. The plot internally fell through when informers betrayed him, and confessed to their masters the plans that had been made. By the end of the summer of 1822, Vesey, along with 34 other leaders, were arrested and tried. They were then convicted and executed in a place that is still unknown to us. Although the revolt never took place, the slaves and abolitionists definitely had the resources and ability to do it. David Robertson obviously thoroughly researched the topic, with 40 pages of notes, and pictures at the end of the book. He took a very limited source of information, and turned it into a historical detective novel. That in itself is credible, even though the book is relatively short. Denmark Vesey gives a good foundation of information on the subject, but is lacking in certain areas.
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