Courses/Lectures

Each of the 34 courses available can be enrolled in individually, or in packages.  Each course is an approximately 1-hour session that consists of the opportunity for the students to interact with the associated artifacts, and a discussion exercise tailored for your specific class in accordance with your teacher's curriculum/recommendations.  If the Course List below doesn’t fit your needs, we can work together to develop the presentation you desire – from control of the discussion topics to selection of items to be presented.

Slave Insurrections

While the most famous slave rebellion was that of Nat Turner, there were hundreds – thousands – of revolts large and small carried out on plantations all throughout the South.  Because they didn’t cause the amount of bloodshed as the Turner Revolt, many of these attempts at armed resistance have been forgotten – until now.  Sometimes these acts caused tougher laws to be enacted; other times they led to positive change – here in this collection with newspaper articles from the time period we can take a closer look at their impact on slave life and the country as a whole.

Artifacts: Newspapers reporting Nat Turner's rebellion, Joseph Cinque and the Africans aboard La Amistad, the execution of Denmark Vesey’s co-conspirators, articles chronicling other slave revolts.

Large-Scale Revolt Planned in Franklin, TN, December, 1856 - In December of 1856, a large group of slaves attempted to rise up in rebellion against their oppressors. The plan was dangerously simple: between December 23rd and 25th, 1856, the slaves of the towns of Columbia and Perry, Tennessee would slaughter their slave masters at night while they were sleeping. From there, they would then gather together to continue their push for liberation. Their plan was foiled when one slave escaped and, when caught, alerted the authorities to the plan.  This led to the discovery of more than two dozen msukets and 2 kegs of gun powder hidden away by the revolters.  Dozens of slaves were killed after the plot was uncovered, along with at least two white men accused of aiding the slaves in their attempt.

September 16, 1831 - Execution of Comrades-in-Arms - By far the most known slave revolt in U.S. History, and certainly its deadliest in terms of those who owned slaves, was the revolt led by Nat Turner.  Inspired by visions from God and scriptures he learned to read while growing up a slave, Turner was compelled to conscript oa small group of slaves with which to begin his plan to free all slaves from bondage.  They were to start in Southhampton, with the goal of reaching the nearby armory.  From their, they would continue to gather support from slaves from the surrounding area.  Eventually however, the revolt was quelched by local militia, and Turner was forced into hiding.  This newspaper is from September of 1831, while Turner was still in hiding, but other comrades were stil being captured, tried, and executed.

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