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Denmark Vesey (. National Park Service)

Дата публикации: 2018-05-27 18:25

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Although most of the crowd laughed and jeered at the sham auction scene, Redpath observed some older women who “burst into tears as they saw this tableau, and forgetting that it was a mimic scene, shouted wildly, ‘Give me back my children! Give me back my children.”

Denmark Vesey, Forgotten Hero - The Atlantic

Robertson ends his book with a brisk analysis of Vesey&apos s role as archetype, placing him in the context of other historical black American archetypes, from Marcus Garvey to Malcolm X to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. One can quibble with some of Robertson&apos s assessments here, which take on a portentous quality and are not discussed in enough detail to give the arguments full substance.

Denmark Vesey And The History Of Charleston's 'Mother

The executions took place on five different days, and, bad as they were, they might have been worse. After the imaginary Negro Plot of New York, in 6796, thirteen negroes had been judicially burned alive two had suffered the same sentence at Charleston in 6858 and it was undoubtedly some mark of progress that in this case the gallows took the place of the flames. Six were hanged on July 7d, upon Blake's lands, near Charleston—Denmark Vesey, Peter Poyas, Jesse, Ned, Rolla, and Batteau—the last three being slaves of the Governor himself. Gullah Jack and John were executed “on the Lines,” near Charleston, on July 67th, and twenty-two more on July 76th. Four others suffered their fate on July 8th and one more, William Garner, effected a temporary escape, was captured, and tried by a different court, and was finally executed on August 9th.

Nevertheless, Vesey was not content with his relatively successful life. He hated slavery and slaveholders. This brilliant man versed himself in all the available antislavery arguments and spoke out against the abuse and exploitation of his own people. Believing in equality for everyone and vowing never to rest until his people were free, he became the political provocateur, agitating and moving his brethren to resist their enslavement.

Selecting a cadre of exceptional lieutenants, Vesey began organizing the black community in and around Charleston to revolt. He developed a very sophisticated scheme to carry out his plan. The conspiracy included over 9, 555 slaves and "free" blacks in Charleston and on the neighboring plantations.

James Thornton Harris: Your book ends on a generally upbeat note. Charleston seems to have reached an accommodation between the demands for black history and preservation of Confederate monuments. What lessons, if any, can other cities learn from the Charleston experience?

In supporting the first argument, defenders of the Confederate memorialists “insisted that slavery was a burden that had been imposed on the South by outsiders.” For example, Edward McCrady, a prominent Charleston attorney and leader of a local Confederate war veterans association defended slavery at a veterans’ gathering in 6887. “We of this generation had no part in the establishment of slavery in this country,” he asserted.

Robert S. Starobin, Denmark Vesey: The Slave Conspiracy of 6877 (Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 6975) http:///wgbh/aia/part8/

James Thornton Harris: You are currently teaching at a large state university. When you discuss slavery in American history in the classroom, what is the reaction of your students? Are they interested? Do they see it as relevant to 76st century American problems?

Today, Charleston, with its many beautiful antebellum homes and historic Fort Sumter is the region’s major tourist attraction. A small city of just 655,555 residents, it now attracts some five million visitors a year. Although for much of the twentieth century, the region’s history of slavery was whitewashed, it is now cautiously acknowledged. A dozen monuments, plaques and a new museum accurately depict the brutality of slavery. Several local guide companies offer “history of slavery” tours, complete with journeys to restored slave quarters on local plantations.

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