Shumakov A.A.


This article tells about the life of the famous leader of the Southampton uprising of 1831, Nat Turner. In the course of the research, the author analyzes the main milestones of his early biography, dwelling in detail on the problems of origin, education, attitude to religion. In the final part, the author offers his own version of the interpretation of the mystical revelations described by Nat Turner himself from the words of lawyer Thomas Gray, linking them with the preparation of an armed rebellion and tracing on their basis the evolution of religious and political ideas of this figure, as well as highlighting the main causes and prerequisites of the uprising. This work is the first attempt in Russian historiography to highlight and critically analyze the facts of Nat Turner’s early biography based on a significant number of sources and Western scientific literature. The main method of research is materialistic dialectics, which allows us to consider the issues of the biography of the leader of the Southampton Uprising in dynamics in accordance with the principle of historicism. Narrative (ideographic), retrospective, comparative, historical-genetic and historical-typological methods are used as specific historical methods in this work.

Keywords: black nationalism, Nat Turner, The Southampton Insurrection, Virginia Uprising, slavery, abolitionism, Christianity, Methodism, Baptism

Tula Branch of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (Russia)

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