Guide to the Slave Rebellion Website
This is an educational website dedicated to provide resources and information for teachers, scholars and the general public on role that enslaved Africans played in the making of America through their struggles and sacrifices for freedom. Enslaved Africans resisted throughout the transatlantic slave trade; they resisted slavery from its inception in the New World, particularly the United States in the early 1600s to the end of the middle 1800s. Enslaved Africans resisted capture and enslavement in Africa, and later on slave ships coming to the New World; they resisted in the plantation fields and in the Big House and they organized slave actions against their oppression. They fought for their freedom and liberation and were killed and died in the cause of freedom. Sometimes they even committed infanticide and suicide as a form of resistance. They fought and lost against insurmountable odds, but in the end they won because their struggle and resistance transformed the minds of Americans and brought on the Civil War that finally abolished the institution of slavery. One single revolt did not lead to liberation and freedom, but collectively the many revolts contributed to events that would eventually lead to their liberation and freedom from bondage. This website explores their struggle and tells their stories in their own words from the actual recorded documents.
Also included in the Slave Rebellion Website is the slavery database, which contains the complete slave population records on slavery from earliest times to the Civil War and beyond slavery. The population data is broken down by state, county, and district and includes such categories as free and enslaved population along with white and other populations in a given area. This information is important because it suggest a strong correlation with a “critical Mass” and the incidents of insurrections in a given area. Historical maps from the period are included along with an image gallery on slavery.
Largely uncatalogued, and scattered throughout the United States in various repositories, archives, and special collections lay important sources of information about slave insurrections, rebellions, and revolts. Dating from to the American Civil War, these documents include written communication among slave rebels; testimony and letters by slave informers; confessions by slave leaders implicated in rebellions and plots; trial records; newspapers accounts; state gazettes; correspondence of government officials; legislative, judicial, and executive auditor papers; and the diaries of planters. The work – The Slave Rebellion Website – provides a comprehensive collection of primary sources; consolidating and cataloguing them in a centralized and accessible electronic database for scholars for the first time.
It is the hope that this website will seed and nurture future studies of slave rebellions: their types, their roles in American history and politics, and their legacies. These primary documents promise not only to provide ways to answer some continuing questions, but also to help scholars formulate and pursue new ideas of inquiry. The website also contains the complete slave population records from earliest times to the end of the Civil War. This information will allow researchers to draw a correlation between a critical mass and the number of slave actions throughout the United States.
A preliminary field survey of sources of slave revolts, insurrections and uprisings indicates that South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia were the sites of over 60 percent of the revolts in North Africa, followed by Louisiana and Mississippi with 27 percent, and the remaining 13 percent distributed among ten additional states. Because of budgetary and temporal limitation, the principal archival collection for this project will be limited to seven states: North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Georgia and Virginia, which comprise the locations of 90 percent of the slave revolts in the United States.