From Domestic to National Abuses
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Benjamin Franklin's "The Murder of a Daughter"
- Author: Benjamin Franklin
- Written in 1734
- Not a lot of detail to this story.
- No background on the characters, and no name is provided for any of the characters Can you find any of this background? Did you do any research?
- The text says that there were numerous amounts of evidence against the couple, but none was listed. How do we know there was enough evidence?
- Parents threw their daughter out of the house
- Daughter had no resources, and eventually died
- The parents were caught and convicted of murder
- Their punishment was a burn on the hand
- Was this murder or abandonment?
- Murder: the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought
- Abandonment: to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest in
- The husband's sacrifice at the end of the case: significance?
- The Judge said that they broke the "Universal Law of Nature"..what is that referring to?
The Confessions of Nat Turner
Background information on Nat Turner
- Born: October 2nd, 1800 in Southampton County, Va (only 2.5 hours from where UMW)
- He didn't know much about his father. Its been said that Nat's father escaped from slavery
- His grandmother, old Bridget, had a hand in raising him. She was from Ghana (a group known for its slave revolts)
- He learned to read and write at a young age
- Very Intelligent as a slave
- He also learned about his religion and became deeply immersed in it, often saying he would receive visions and he interpreted them as messages from God.
- At the age of 22 he ran away from his master but, returned a month later because of one of these visions.
- On August 21st 1831, after receiving what he believed was his final sign from God, he commenced a rebellion.
- He eluded capture until October 30th 1831
- November 5th 1831 he was tried and convicted of conspiring to rebel and making insurrection
- insurrection is defined as a violent uprising against an authority or government.
- While in jail awaiting his death Thomas Ruffin Gray took it upon himself to write Turner's story.
- Turner was hanged November 11th 1831 in Jerusalem, Va
Cultural Context: What was happening in 1831?
- January 1st: William Garrison published the first abolitionist journal.
- March 9th: 1st US bank robbery. (city bank, Ny $245,000)
- June 6th: 2nd national black convention
- these are all leading up to Nat's rebellion.
- "Turner had many motives for his revolt his most important motive was hatred of slavery and suffering his people has to endure"
- Feb. 1831 was when he started preparing for the rebellion
- July 4th 1831 When Nat Turner decided he wanted the Revolt this date (Later changed because of Turner illness
- Aug. 22-23 1831 NAT TURNER REVOLT
- 55 Whites (including women, men and children)
Capture & Execution
- Oct. 30 Two slaves found Nat Turner and reported it to there slave owner Benjamin Phipps
- Nov. 5 Turner is tried for "Conspiring to rebel and making insurrection" he was found guilty
- Nov. 11 Turner was hanged in Jerusalem, Virginia
- In 2009 the largest city own park in Newark, New Jersey was named after Nat Turner in honor of his struggle for freedom