Black History Month – Feb. 25: Gabriel Prosser

An educated slave, Prosser worked as a blacksmith. Inspired by the successful Haitian slave revolt, Prosser planned an insurrection to capture Richmond and massacre whites, except Methodists, Quakers, Frenchmen, and the poor, whom he regarded as sympathetic to blacks. He intended to make himself king of a new black nation. On Aug. 30, 1800, Prosser assembled a number of slaves outside Richmond. However, heavy rains washed out bridges and roads, while an informer told authorities about the revolt. The militia captured several dozen slaves. Prosser was finally caught on board a ship in Norfolk and was hanged in Richmond. As a result of the planned revolt, Virginia’s slave laws were tightened and abolitionist societies were forced to go underground. He was born in 1775 and died in 1800.

 

Author: MIH

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