Subversive Historian – 09/09/08

The Stono Rebellion

One-hundred and sixty-nine years ago on this day in people’s history, black slaves rebelled in the British colony of South Carolina. On September 9th, 1739 a group of twenty slaves met by the banks of the Stono River and began their march to freedom. Led by an Angolan named Jemmy, the uprising began when the group armed themselves by seizing weapons and ammunition from a store. The ranks of the rebellion soon grew to nearly one-hundred as slaves marched chanting “Liberty” in unison. Taking advantage of a new “Security Act” that required whites to bring their weapons to church on Sunday; slaves burned several plantations and killed twenty whites. Later in the afternoon a firefight broke out between slaves and whites that ended the rebellion. In the end, forty-four slaves had been killed and whites responded by passing “The Negro Act” which prohibited slaves from growing their own food and assembly in groups.

I mean, I guess you wouldn’t want to give oppressed slaves any more reason to rise up, right?

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