Nat Turner

Nat Turner was born on October 2, 1800, in Southampton County, Virginia, in the U.S. He was a preacher and Black American slave who led a four-day rebellion of enslaved and free Black people in Southampton County, Virginia in August 1983. He didn’t know his father because he was born into slavery on a rural plantation in Southampton County. He was simply known as Nat on the plantation.

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Nat Turner

Birth date:

October 2, 1800

Death date:

November 11, 1831 (age 31)

Zodiac Sign:

Libra

Height:

5' 8"

Background

Nat Turner was born on October 2, 1800, in Southampton County, Virginia, in the U.S. He was a preacher and Black American slave who led a four-day rebellion of enslaved and free Black people in Southampton County, Virginia in August 1981. He didn’t know his father because he was born into slavery on a rural plantation in Southampton County. His mother’s name was Nancy and he learned how to read from an early age. This allowed him to become educated and he was also a devout Christian who later became a prophet to the slaves on the plantation where he worked. He was simply known as Nat on the plantation.

He was regarded as a prophet and preacher to other enslaved people working on the plantation and Turner would often host religious services for them. He would also claim to see visions from God and interpret them for his fellow plantation workers. Turner worked on several plantations throughout his life and he ran away from the one he was born on in 1921, but he later returned after having a vision from God. In 1824, he had another vision of a future judgment day and he decided to put this into action himself. His decision was finalized when, in 1828, he was convinced that he was divinely ordained to bring justice to the plantation owner, Samuel Turner, and to free his followers.

In 1831, Turner planned and executed a rebellion and killed the plantation owner and his wife. Unfortunately, Turner was caught after being in hiding and he was hanged for his crimes. Despite this, Turner died a hero and he inspired many rebellions after his death.

Career timeline

1821
Turner Runs Away

Turner runs away from the plantation where he was born.

1821
Turner Returns

Turner returns to the plantation after having a vision from God.

1828
He Starts Planning

Turner is convinced of his purpose and starts gathering a following of like-minded people.

1831
His Rebellion

Turner starts a four-day rebellion against the plantation owner and leads his followers away from the plantation.

Why We Love Nat Turner

  1. His bravery

    Turner’s bravery during his lifetime is something to be admired. In a time when people were enslaved and treated horribly, Turner stood up and defended himself and his followers.

  2. He believed in what was right

    Turner never backed down from his beliefs. He stood up for what was right and never backed down from the people who enslaved him.

  3. His contribution to civil rights

    Turner is an inspiration to civil rights movements across the world. He also had a big impact on civil rights movements in the South after his death.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. He was psychic

    Turner was believed to be psychic because he could describe events that happened before his birth.

  2. His rebellion

    Turner’s rebellion is known as Nat Turner’s slave rebellion today.

  3. His name

    Turner was simply known as Nat on the plantation and it is only after his rebellion that he became known as Nat Turner.

  4. His skull

    It is believed that Turner's skull is at the Smithsonian awaiting D.N.A. tests.

  5. His “Bible”

    Turner’s “Bible” was donated to the National Museum of African American History and Culture by the Person family of Southampton, Virginia.

Nat Turner FAQs

What did Nat Turner do to end slavery?

He organized a rebellion that resulted in a new wave of oppressive legislation prohibiting the education, movement, and assembly of enslaved people.

What happened to Nat Turner?

He was hanged in 1831.

What happened to Nat Turner's family?

His father escaped slavery and it is unknown what happened to his mother.

Nat Turner’s birthday dates

YearDateDay
2023October 2Monday
2024October 2Wednesday
2025October 2Thursday
2026October 2Friday
2027October 2Saturday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.