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Denmark Vesey Trial: 1822 - A Long Brewing Plot, The Secret Plot Is Revealed, Vesey And Others Finally Arrested

charleston south james slaves

Defendant: Denmark Vesey et al.
Crime Charged: Conspiracy to commit insurrection and murder
Chief Defense Lawyers: Vesey defended himself with assistance from George Warren Cross
Chief Prosecutors and Judges: Lionel Kennedy, Thomas Parker, William Drayton, Nathan Heyward, James Legare, James R. Pringle, Robert J. Turnbull
Place: Charleston, South Carolina
Date of Trial: June 23-28, 1822
Verdict: Guilty
Sentence: Death (President James Madison later remitted the sentence); also, Hull was dishonorably discharged and his name was stricken form the rolls of the army

SIGNIFICANCE: Along with the later Nat Turner uprising, the Vesey conspiracy prompted new legislation that made it more difficult to free slaves and placed more severe restrictions on free blacks.

In 1822, Denmark Vesey, a 60-year-old former slave who had bought his freedom with the winnings from a lottery ticket, planned what would have been the most extensive slave rebellion in American history. He plotted to seize Charleston, South Carolina, recruiting thousands of slaves to help him and writing to the president of the black Haitian Republic, asking for Haitian military assistance. On the night of the uprising, his coconspirators, the house servants of prominent Charlestonians, were to assassinate the governor and other officials while they slept. Afterwards, six infantry and cavalry companies of armed slaves would move through Charleston and murder the entire white population. The only whites to be left alive were ships' captains, who would carry Vesey and his revolutionaries to Haiti. Before leaving South Carolina, he planned to burn Charleston to the ground.

Dominic Daley and James Halligan Trial: 1806 - The Crime, The Trial, An Execution And An Exoneration, The Issue Of Bias, Suggestions For Further Reading [next] [back] Daniel Boone Court-Martial: 1778 - Neither Patriot Nor Loyalist, Boone "adopted" By The Shawnee, Boone's Return Met With Suspicion

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over 3 years ago

Denmark Vesey's plot did not involve the AME church. Sorry, the myth of the "black church" being a bastion of freedom fighters has lived long enough, and to our hurt. The contradition is evident in your attempt to explain events. You say Vesey avoided involving houseslave and mulattos, which the AME church was primarily comprised of.