HIS-200 Historical research




HIS-200 Historical Research


Academic Institution

August 10, 2019

HIS-200 Historical Research

Nat Turner's Rebellion and significance

Nat Turner’s rebellion was an intensely violent slave uprising against their masters that took place in August 1831 at southeastern Virginia, led by Nat Turner (Allyn, 2019). Turner, an educated slave was a charismatic leader who drew around 60 followers from local farms and organized them to kill. After the massacre, many of them were captured and hanged. This event is significant to the history of Black American slaves as it influenced outlooks of slavery for decades.

Research question

My research question is: Could it have been that the slaves stirred Turner’s decision of murder? My curiosity is led by the incidence of this slave’s return to become of service to his master as directed by the ‘Spirit’. In his personal account, Turner talked about escaping to the woods for thirty days before being instructed to return and serve his master. Upon getting there, the slaves were not pleased at seeing him and his reason displeased them. According to Turner, they dissuaded his sense and told him off for his return. In the subsequent days, Turner saw blood visions, which he translated to be a sign for murder. Though he failed to mention any contribution by the slaves, could have their comments pushed him to thinking in the manner that he did?

Secondary sources

The secondary sources that I could use to research my historical event are the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History website and “Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion: Including the 1831 "Confessions" by Herbert Aptheker (2006). Gilder Lehrman is a source that includes information from a primary sources to support the information provided. The book by Herbert Aptheker is a detailed book on Turner and the turn of events, which offers a more broad perspective to the event.

The sources are appropriate and relevant for investigating my event because they are authoritative, objective, sourced, and peer reviewed, and are written by scholars. Their level of engagement is strong enough to provide evidence for the listed arguments. When I was searching for these sources, I kept thinking to myself that I needed material that is reliable and could provide the information that I needed in details and in a format that was easy to read and understand. I also needed a source that was coherent in its nature of presentation. As such, these sources are appropriate and relevant for investigating my event in that they are precise and focus on the incident in details. They are also supported by evidence from primary sources, which makes them reliable.

Thesis statement

Based on my question: Could it have been that the slaves stirred Turner’s decision of murder?, my thesis statement is, Though Nate Turner was instructed by the Spirit to return and serve his master, he began entertaining the thoughts of murder because his fellow negroes were against the idea of working for their masters.

A perfect audience for my historical event would be my classmates. This group of individuals is learning about this topic, is therefore interested in knowing about the occurrence of events, and would therefore benefit the most from hearing my message.

I would tailor my message to my audience by detailing on the event of Nat Turner and its effect on slavery and their masters. I would explain historical terminologies associated with my event, considering that they are learners. I will communicate effectively by using diagrams and short videos as well as use an interesting narration approach.


Allyn, N. (2019). History Now. Retrieved from https://www.gilderlehrman.org/content/nat-turner%E2%80%99s-rebellion-1831

Aptheker, H. (2006). Nat Turner's slave rebellion : including the 1831 "Confessions. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications.