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among them the notched stick of this only a mile and a half from the house of miserable Robinson Crusoe, marked with Joseph Travis. five weary weeks and six days. But the Torn, emaciated, ragged,“ a mere scareman was gone. For ten days more he crow," still wearing the hat perforated concealed himself among the wheat-stacks with buckshot, with his arms bound to on Mr. Francis's plantation, and during his sides, he was driven before the levthis time was reduced almost to despair. elled gun to the nearest house, that of Once he decided to surrender himself, a Mr. Edwards. He was confined there and walked by night within two miles of that night; but the news had spread so Jerusalem before his purpose failed him. rapidly that within an hour after his arThree times he tried to get out of that rival a hundred persons had collected, neighborhood, but in vain : travelling by and the excitement became so intense day was, of course, out of the question, " that it was with difficulty he could be and by night be found it impossible to conveyed alive to Jerusalem.” The enelude the patrol. Again and again, there- thusiasm spread instantly through Virfore, he returned to his hiding-place, and ginia; Mr. Trezvant, the Jerusalem postduring his whole two months' liberty master, sent notices of it far and near ; never went five miles from the Cross and Governor Floyd himself wrote a letKeys. On the 25th of October, he was ter to the “Richmond Enquirer” to give at last discovered by Mr. Francis, as he official announcement of the momentous was emerging from a stack. A load of
capture. buckshot was instantly discharged at him, When Nat Turner was asked by Mr. twelve of which passed through his hat T. R. Gray, the counsel assigned him, as he fell to the ground. He escaped whether, although defeated, he still beeven then, but his pursuers were rapidly liered in his own Providential mission, concentrating upon him, and it is perfect he answered, as simply as one who came ly astonishing that he could have eluded thirty years after him, “ Was not Christ them for five days more.
crucified ?” In the same spirit, when arOn Sunday, October 30th, a man raigned before the court, “ he answered, named Benjamin Phipps, going out for “Not guilty,' saying to his counsel that he the first time on patrol duty, was passing did not feel so.” But apparently no arat noon a clearing in the woods where a gument was made in his favor by his counnumber of pine-trees had long since been sel, nor were any witnesses called, — he felled. There was a motion among their being convicted on the testimony of Levi boughs; he stopped to watch it; and Waller, and upon his own confession, through a gap in the branches he saw, which was put in by Mr. Gray, and acemerging from a hole in the earth be- knowledged by the prisoner before the neath, the face of Nat Turner. Aiming six justices composing the court, as behis gun instantly, Phipps called on him to ing“ full, free, and voluntary.” He was surrender. The fugitive, exhausted with therefore placed in the paradoxical powatching and privation, entangled in the sition of conviction by his own confesbranches, armed only with a sword, had sion, under a plea of “ Not guilty.” The nothing to do but to yield; sagaciously arrest took place on the thirtieth of Ocreflecting, also, as he afterwards explain- tober, 1831, the confession on the first of ed, that the woods were full of armed November, the trial and conviction on men, and that he had better trust fortune the fifth, and the execution on the followfor some later chance of escape, instead ing Friday, the eleventh of November, of desperately attempting it then. He precisely at noon. He met his death was correct in the first impression, since with perfect composure, declined addressthere were fifty armed scouts within a ing the multitude assembled, and told the circuit of two miles. His insurrection sheriff in a firm voice that he was ready. ended where it began; for this spot was Another account says that he “ betrayed
no emotion, and even hurried the execu- vised grand juries to indict Mr. Gray. I tioner in the performance of his duty” have never seen a copy of the original “ Not a limb nor a muscle was observed pamphlet, it is not to be found in any to move. His body, after his death, was of our public libraries, and I bave heard given over to the surgeons for dissec- of but one as still existing, although the tion."
Confession itself has been repeatedly reThis last statement merits remark. printed. Another small pamphlet, conThere would be no evidence that this taining the main features of the outbreak, formidable man was not favored during was published at New York during the his imprisonment with that full meas- same year, and this is in my possession. ure of luxury which slave-jails afford to But the greater part of the facts which slaves, but for a rumor which arose after I have given were gleaned from the conthe execution, that he was compelled to temporary newspapers. sell his body in advance, for purposes of Who now shall go back thirty years dissection, in exchange for food. But it and read the heart of this extraordinary does not appear probable, from the known man, who, by the admission of his caphabits of Southern anatomists, that any tors, “never was known to swear an oath such bargain could have been needed. or drink a drop of spirits," — who, on the For in the circular of the South Caro- same authority, “ for natural intelligence lina Medical School for that very year I and quickness of apprehension was surfind this remarkable suggestion :—“Some passed by few men,” “with a mind caadvantages of a peculiar character are pable of attaining anything," — who knew connected with this institution. No place no book but his Bible, and that by heart, in the United States affords so great op- - who devoted himself soul and body to portunities for the acquisition of medical the cause of his race, without a trace of knowledge, subjects being obtained among personal hope or fear, — who laid his the colored population in sufficient num- plans so shrewdly that they came at last ber for every purpose, and proper dis- with less warning than any earthquake sections carried on without offending any on the doomed community around, — and individual.” What a convenience, to who, when that time arrived, took the life possess for scientific purposes a crass of of man, woman, and child, without a throb population sufficiently human to be dis- of compunction, a word of exultation, sected, but not human enough to be sup- or an act of superfluous outrage? Mrs. posed to take offence at it! And as the Stowe's “ Dred” seems dim and melosame arrangement may be supposed to dramatic beside the actual Nat Turner. have existed in Virginia, Nat Turner De Quincey’s “Avenger” is his only parwould hardly have gone through the allel in imaginative literature: similar formality of selling his body for food
wrongs, similar retribution. Mr. Gray, to those who claimed its control at any his self-appointed confessor, rises into a rate.
sort of bewildered enthusiasm, with the The Confession of the captive was pub- prisoner before him. “I shall not atlished under authority of Mr. Gray, in a tempt to describe the effect of his narrapampblet, at Baltimore. Fifty thousand tive, as told and commented on by himcopies of it are said to have been printed, self, in the condemned-hole of the prisand it was " embellished with an accurate on. The calm, deliberate composure with likeness of the brigand, taken by Mr. which he spoke of his late deeds and inJohn Crawley, portrait-painter, and litho- tentions, the expression of his fiend-like graphed by Endicott & Swett, at Balti- face when excited by enthusiasm, still more.” The newly published “Libera- bearing the stains of the blood of helptor” said of it, at the time, that it would less innocence about him, clothed with “ only serve to rouse up other leaders, rags and covered with chains, yet daring and hasten other insurrections," and ad- to raise his manacled hands to heaven, my veins.”
with a spirit soaring above the attributes ter day, conveyed to your executive, of man, - I looked on him, and the blood • We are in peril of our lives ; send us an curdled in
army for defence'? Was that a petty But the more remarkable the personal affair' which drove families from their character of Nat Turner, the greater the homes, - which assembled women and amazement felt that he should not have children in crowds, without shelter, at appreciated the extreme felicity of his places of common refuge, in every conposition as a slave. In all insurrections, dition of weakness and infirmity, under the standing wonder seems to be that the every suffering which want and terror slaves most trusted and best used should could inflict, yet willing to endure all, be most deeply involved. So in this willing to meet death from famine, death case, as usual, they resorted to the most from climate, death from hardships, preastonishing theories of the origin of the ferring anything rather than the horrors affair. One attributed it to Free-Mason- of meeting it from a domestic assassin ? ry, and another to free whiskey, - liber- Was that a “petty affair' which erected ty appearing dangerous, even in these a peaceful and confiding portion of the forms. The poor whites charged it upon State into a military camp, — which outthe free colored people, and urged their lawed from pity the unfortunate beings expulsion, forgetting that in North Caro
whose brothers had offended, — which lina the plot was betrayed by one of this barred every door, penetrated every bosclass, and that in Virginia there were but om with fear or suspicion, - which so two engaged, both of whom had slave- banished every sense of security from evwives. The slaveholding clergymen tra- ery man's dwelling, that, let but a hoof ced it to want of knowledge of the Bible, or horn break upon the silence of the forgetting that Nat Turner knew scarce- night, and an aching throb would be ly anything else. On the other hand, driven to the heart, the husband would “a distinguished citizen of Virginia” look to his weapon, and the mother would combined in one sweeping denuncia- shudder and weep upon her cradle ? tion “ Northern incendiaries, tracts, Sun- Was it the fear of Nat Turner, and his day-schools, religion, reading, and writ- deluded, drunken handful of followers, ing."
which produced such effects? Was it this But whether the theories of its origin that induced distant counties, where the were wise or foolish, the insurrection made very name of Southampton was strange, its mark, and the famous band of Virgin- to arm and equip for a struggle? No, ia emancipationists who all that winter Sir, it was the suspicion eternally attachmade the Ilouse of Delegates ring with ed to the slave himself, - the suspicion unavailing eloquence — till the rise of that a Nat Turner might be in every slave-exportation to new cotton regions family, — that the same bloody deed stopped their voices – were but the un- might be acted over at any time and in conscious mouth-pieces of Nat Turner.
- that the materials for it In January, 1832, in reply to a member were spread through the land, and were who had called the outbreak a “petty always ready for a like explosion. Nothaffair,” the eloquent James McDowell ing but the force of this withering apprethus described the impression it left be- hension, - nothing but the paralyzing
and deadening weight with which it falls “Now, Sir, I ask you, I ask gentlemen, upon and prostrates the heart of every in conscience to say, was that a petty man who has helpless dependants to proaffair' which startled the feelings of your tect, — nothing but this could have thrown whole population, - which threw a por- a brave people into consternation, or could tion of it into alarm, a portion of it into have made any portion of this powerful panie, — which wrung out from an af- Commonwealth, for a single instant, to frighted people the thrilling cry, day af- have quailed and trembled.”
While these things were going on, the necki, Czartoryski, Rozyski, Kaminski, enthusiasm for the Polish Revolution was were choking the trump of Fame with rising to its height. The nation was ring- their complicated patronymics. These ing with a peal of joy, on hearing that at are all forgotten now; and this poor neFrankfort the Poles had killed fourteen gro, who did not even possess a name, thousand Russians. “The Southern Re- beyond one abrupt monosyllable, - for ligious Telegraph” was publishing an im- even the name of Turner was the maspassioned address to Kosciusko; stand- ter's property, — still lives a memory of ards were being consecrated for Poland terror and a symbol of retribution triin the larger cities; heroes, like Skrzy- umphant.
A DISCOURSE OF IMMATURITY.
The man who, in his progress through very nutritious and palatable; some peolife, has listened with attention to the ple may like it better than Beef, and may conversation of human beings, who has feed upon it with the liveliest satisfaction ; carefully read the writings of the best but when it is fairly and deliberately put English authors, who has made himself to us, it must be admitted, even by such well acquainted with the history and as like Veal the best, that Veal is but an usages of his native land, and who has immature production of Nature. I take meditated much on all he has seen and Veal, therefore, as the emblem of IMMAread, must have been led to the firm TURITY,- of that wbich is now in a conviction that by VEAL those who speak stage out of which it must grow, - of the English language intend to denote that wbich, as time goes on, will grow the flesh of calves, and that by a calf is older, will probably grow better, will cerintended an immature ox or cow. A tainly grow very different. That is what calf is a creature in a temporary and I mean by Veal. progressive stage of its being. It will And now, my reader and friend, you not always be a calf; if it live long will discern the subject about which I enough, it will assuredly cease to be a trust we are to have some pleasant and calf. And if impatient man, arresting not unprofitable thought together. You the creature at that stage, should consign will readily believe that my subject is not it to the hands of him whose business it that material Veal which may be beheld is to convert the sentient animal into the and purchased in the butchers' shops. I impassive and unconscious meat, the nu- am not now to treat of its varied qualities, triment which the creature will afford of the sustenance which it yields, of the will be nothing more than immature beef. price at which it may be procured, or of There may be many qualities of Veal; the laws according to which that price the calf wbich yields it may die at very rises and falls. I am not going to take different stages in its physical and moral you to the green fields in which the creadevelopment; but provided only it die ture which yielded the Veal was fed, or as a calf, — provided only that its meat to discourse of the blossoming bawthorn can fitly be styled Veal, — this will be hedges from whose midst it was reft away. characteristic of it, that the meat shall be Neither shall I speak of the rustic life, the immature meat. It may be very good, toils, cares, and fancies of the farm-house
near which it spent its brief lifetime. The calf. It may think itself bigger and wisVeal of which I intend to speak is Moral er than an ox, but it knows it is not an Veal, or (to speak with entire accuracy) And if it be a reasonable calf, modVeal Intellectual, Moral, and Æsthetical. est, and free from prejudice, it is well By Veal I understand the immature pro- aware that the joints it will yield after ductions of the human mind, - immature its demise will be very different from compositions, immature opinions, feelings, those of the stately and well-consolidated and tastes. I wish to think of the work, ox which ruminates in the rich pasture the views, the fancies, the emotions, which near it. But the human boy often thinks are yielded by the human soul in its im- he is a man, and even more than a man. mature stages, — while the calf (so to He fancies that his mental stature is as speak) is only growing into the ox, big and as solid as it will ever become. while the clever boy, with his absurd Ile fancies that his mental productions opinions and feverish feelings and fan- - the poems and essays he writes, the cies, is developing into the mature and political and social views he forms, the sober-minded man. And if I could but moods of feeling with which he regards rightly set out the thoughts which have things — are just what they may always at many different times occurred to me be, just what they ought always to be. on this matter, if one could catch and If spared in this world, and if he be one fix the vague glimpses and passing in- of those whom years make wiser, the day tuitions of solid unchanging truth, if comes when he looks back with amazethe subject on which one has thought ment and shame on those early mental long and felt deeply were always that productions. He discerns now how imon which one could write best, and could mature, absurd, and extravagant they bring out to the sympathy of others what were, - in brief, how Vealy. But at the a man himself has felt, what an excel- time, he had not the least idea that they lent essay this would be! But it will
He had entire confidence in not be so; for, as I try to grasp the himself, — not a misgiving as to his own thoughts I would set out, they melt away ability and wisdom. You, clever young and elude me. It is like trying to catch student of eighteen years old, when you and keep the rainbow hues you have seen wrote your prize essay, fancied that in the sunshine cast upon the spray of a thought and style it was very like Macwaterfall, when you try to catch the tone, aulay, - and not Macaulay in that stage the thoughts, the feelings, the atmosphere of Vealy brilliancy in which he wrote his of early youth.
essay on Milton, not Macaulay the fairest
and most promising of calves, but MacauThere can be no question at all as to lay the stateliest and most beautiful of the fact, that clever young men and oxen. Well, read over your essay now women, when their minds begin to open, at thirty, and tell us what you think of it. when they begin to think for themselves, And you, clever, warm-hearted, enthusido pass through a stage of mental devel- astic young preacher of twenty-four, opment which they by-and-by quite out- wrote your sermon; it was very ingengrow, and entertain opinions and be- ious, very brilliant in style, and you never liefs, and feel emotions, on which after thought but that it would be felt by mawards they look back with no sympathy ture-minded Christian people as suiting or approval. This is a fact as certain as their case, as true to their inmost exthat a calf grows into an ox, or that veal, perience. You could not see why you if spared to grow, will become beef. But might not preach as well as a man of no analogy between the material and the forty. And if people in middle age had moral must be pushed too far. There complained, that, eloquent as your preachare points of difference between material ing was, they found it suited them better and moral Veal. A calf knows it is a and profited them more to listen to the