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June 17, 2013

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RLF

Dr Simon Blunt's house, known as Belmont. Hark shot from his horse at this site. Young Samuel receives commission from Andrew Jackson for his fighting performance here. For current picture access "Belmont Peanuts".

Alfred Brophy

You got it all, RLF. Nicely done.

This was the end of the line for the rebellion. Turner escaped, as I guess did a couple of other people. Turner eluded capture until October; the others were quickly captured.

Two things that I want to note about this. First, while the house is nice and impressive, it's hardly Tara. And therein lies I think an important reminder that even the most wealthy people in Southampton (Dr. Blount owned something on the order of 30 people) had relatively modest wealth.

Second, and more to the point of the Turner rebellion -- shortly after the rebellion ended, Belmont was the scene of a tragedy of mistaken identity. In the wake of the rebellion the local militia was riding around the county, searching for remnants of the rebellion (and in the process torturing a lot of people who it seems were completely innocent). The evening after the rebellion ended a troop came riding up to the house; and the people at Dr. Blount's house thought that this might be rebels returning. So they put a gun in the hand of a slave, it seems. When the militia arrived, they saw the slave with a gun and immediately shot him. This we know because the slave's owner petitioned the Virginia legislature for compensation for the slave.

Soon I want to talk more about the other petitions filed by slaveowners for the loss of enslaved people during the rebellion. They're a *very* interesting window in the ideas about property in circulation in Virginia in the 1830s.

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