Nat Turner was born in Southampton, Virginia on 2nd October, 1800. Nat, the son of slaves, was the property of Benjamin Turner, a prosperous plantation owner. Nat's mother and grandmother had been brought to America from Africa and had a deep hatred of slavery.
Nat grew up sharing his mother's view of slavery. Taught to read by his master's son, Nat developed deep religious beliefs and encouraged by his parents, gradually began to believe that God had chosen him to lead his people out of slavery.
In 1831 Turner was sold to Joseph Travis. In February of that year an eclipse of the sun convinced Turner that this was a supernatural sign from God to start an insurrection. However, it wasn't until August 21st that Turner and about seven other slaves killed Travis and his family to launch his rebellion. In all, about 50 whites were killed.
Turner had hoped this his action would cause a massive slave uprising but only 75 joined his rebellion. Over 3,000 members of the state militia were sent to deal with Turner's rebellion, and they were soon defeated. In retaliation, more than a hundred innocent slaves were killed. Turner went into hiding but was captured six weeks later. Nat Turner was executed on 11th November, 1831.