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The Confessions of Nat Turner Essay

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Updated: Oct 22nd, 2021

The late insurrection in Southampton was a tragedy carried out by Nat Turner and his men that left a deep thought in the minds of the community as well as the minds of every section of the country where the population was found as it was a case of open revolution of slaves which involved a situation of brutality and destruction. The document contains a confession that was made by Nat turner to Thomas R. Gray in prison where he was restricted. This tragedy left the public with a curiosity to understand and find what motivated the actors to carry on such a horrible conspiracy, however, this curiosity was not solved until the time the mystery surrounding the operation was solved when Nat Turner was finally captured and taken to jail by Benjamin Phipps where he gave a full confession on the origin, development and consummation of the conspiracy.

In analyzing the paper on ‘The Confessions of Nat Turner’, it can be noted from the editor’s comments that, unlike other slaves who participated in the act, Nat Turner was willing to fully and freely give a confession of the origin, the development and the consummation of the conspiracy in which he was the leader. With his confession it was a satisfaction for the public to put a statement of the confession in writing with small or no changes from his own words to bring down their curiosity. Unlike other insurgents Nat Turner admitted his full participation in all the guilt of the operation and also revealed that he was not only the contriver but also gave the first blow towards its execution.

Analysis of Nat Turner’s confessions shows that the dreadful conspiracy that was carried on by the insurgent slaves under his leadership caught the whole community and the country unaware as everything was well planned and carried out by Nat and his men overnight. This can be said to be ridiculous as any person may wonder how such a large group of men riding on horses could move from house to house conducting such mercilessly and unsparing murders without anybody noticing and raising an alarm. From this analysis the reader can learn that the community under question was so ignorant of any attack and could never have imagined such a thing happening (Hempel, & Smith).

From the analysis of ‘The Confessions Nat Turner’ it is notable that the country’s policy and lawmakers had not come up with policies or laws that would stop operations like that of Nat Turner and his men. Nat Turner’s confession is a lesson to them that they should implement such laws and policies and persuade all citizens to ensure their enforcement. In addition it is a lesson to every community to take the responsibility of ensuring their safety as the guardians of the law watch over the whole country.

The analysis of ‘The Confessions of Nat Turner’ shows that Nat Turner’s life was full of fantasies which in his mind were the reality. This can be noted right from his childhood where he believed that he had too much sense to be raised, but if he was raised he was never to be of service to anybody or be a slave to anyone. This idea he claims to have got from his church master and other religious leaders whom he claimed had noticed the wonders of his conduct and his rare intelligence. Throughout his life Nat Turner lives in a world of fantasy that directs his actions. At the end of the paper we realize that Nat’s fantasies lead to his death. The perspective of the author from this is that people should take their lives seriously but not live in the worlds of fantasies (Hempel, & Smith).

In analyzing ‘The Confessions of Nat Turner’ it is clear that despite his belief that he is not to serve anybody or be somebody’s slave he still finds himself in a man’s estate where he was a slave. A reflection of his childhood life and the remarks he had received about himself from different religious leaders and believing that the revelations had been made to him he finds himself paying much attention to how to object to the idea of being a slave and fulfill the purpose for which according to him he was intended.

In further analysis of this paper, we find that during his time of slavery Nat had succeeded in influencing the minds of his fellow servants at the estate by telling them about his communion with the holy spirit who gave him revelations. Given that the servants already believed in him and claims that his wisdom comes from God, Nat knew it would be easy to make them participate in his plans. He, therefore, begins to prepare them for his purpose by first telling them that something was about to happen that was going to stop the realization of the great promise that had been made to him. From this analysis it can be argued that Nat’s fellow servants were so narrow-minded that they easily believed and joined Nat in his world of fantasy. This puts their lives in danger as we realize that in the end all of them were either dead or were jailed and executed.

On further analysis of ‘The Confessions of Nat Turner’, it is notable that Nat manages to escape after being put under a superintendent, however, he returns to the plantations to serve his master after a spirit as he claims told him that his wishes were directed to the world but not to heaven. The execution of their murders starts from Mr. J. Travis’s home on a night after one of the servants, Will decided to find liberty. It was after that decision that they began making arrangements on how they could train themselves and collect sufficient force. From here a decision was made that no one was to be spared irrespective of age or sex. At this point of the paper the author ridicules Nat to show how undecided he was as he escapes from the estate where he worked as a slave and later returns even though what he wanted was to stop being someone’s slave. With such a decision to spare no one irrespective of age or sex, the editor reveals how ruthless Nat and his men were.

In the analysis of ‘The Confessions of Nat Turner’ the editor reveals the element of secrecy and fear in Nat Turner and his men. This is because even if they knew that they had enough strength to kill the family even if they were awake, they decide to carry out the murder secretly at night so that no alarm could be raised to the neighborhood. At this point of the paper, the editor shows that even though Nat was capable of carrying out such a dreadful conspiracy he was also afraid and never wanted to be caught in the act as he and his men feared for their safety. Their secretive nature is further revealed where Nat secretly succeeds in getting the guns from their place and observes that he had to spill the first blood thus succeeding to murder a family of five without any of them waking up after which they proceed to several houses where they kill people sleeping.

Further analysis of ‘The Confessions of Nat Turner’ shows that the confrontation by white men that left some of them wounded marked the beginning of their separation as they scattered all over leaving Nat with a feeling of defeat. This shows a sign of betrayal because according to Nat some of his men knew Mr. Parker on whose compound they were during this time and it can be argued that Nat’s men had called Mr. Parker who informed his men to attack Nat’s group.

The analysis of ‘The Confessions of Nat Turner’ shows that the attack on Dr. Blunt’s by twenty of the bandits happens to be the reason for the break up of their future plans of mischief. It was after this attack that they broke up as every one of them tried to find safety. In the process, they were either shot down or captured and taken to trial and punishment. Nat survived all his supporters and had to close his career. His confession of the conspiracy is given to the public without comment and acts as a lesson to other like-minded people who would want to carry out such like operation.

Analyzing ‘The Confession of Nat Turner’ shows that it was this attack that led to their separation that made Nat Turner hide in a cave after failing to find the whereabouts of his men. Compelled with the need for water after some time, he leaves the cave at night and returns in the morning. Nat was not lucky as it did not take long before he identified himself to two Negroes who were out hunting with a dog that had stolen meat from his cave. Out of fear of being betrayed by them Nat left his hiding place and was trailed almost immediately by Mr. Benjamin Phipps who discovered his new hiding hole and became his captor and took him to prison.

The operation of Nat Turner and his men was indeed a very dreadful act that left the whole public with a curiosity to know the actors and the motive behind their operation. Nevertheless, the capture of Nat by Benjamin Phipps just comes in the time of this curiosity leading to Nat’s confession thus clearing the curiosity.

Work cited

Hempel, C. & Smith, N. “The Confessions of Nat Turner, the Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, VA.: Electronic Edition. “The University of North Carolina at Chapel, 1999. 2009. Web.

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