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American Slavery

            American slavery was the most oppressive form of slavery. Therefore, there are about 200 instances of slave revolts or rumored slave resistance between seventeenth century and Civil War. Slaves were not content and did every means to try to rebel against their masters.
             Slaves who did not directly rebel made their masters" lives miserable through a variety of indirect protests against slavery. These include sabotage, stealing, malingering, murder, arson, and infanticide. Many day to day resistance of plantation slaves took the forms of doing breaking tools, doing shoddy work, feigning illness, stealing, and running away. These resistance usually occurs when a master or overseer overstep customary bounds. Slaves tried to establish proper treatment through these acts. This was the slave's way to express their opposition towards slavery.
             There were major revolts (or attempted slave insurrections) before the Civil War. In 1800, Gabriel, a 24 year old Virginian slave who was a blacksmith led 50 armed slaves on Richmond. Unfortunately, this attempt failed when a storm washed out the roads to Richmond. The Virginian militia was able to arrest these rebels in time. The white authorities executed 25 conspirators, including Gabriel. Another slave revolt was in 1811 in Southern Louisiana that involved between 180 to 500 slaves led by Deslondes, a free mulatto from Haiti. They marched on New Orleans armed with axes and other weapons. The slave owners retaliated by killing 82 blacks and placing the 16 leaders heads on pikes. Another slave revolt was in 1822 in Charleston. It was organized by Denmark Vasey, a slave who bought his freedom after winning the lottery. He organized one of the largest attempted slave insurrections in US history. He devised a conspiracy to take over the city of Charleston on second Sunday of July 1822 when slaves were allowed to go into Charleston to go to the market.

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