May 30, 2014

On this day May 30th

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles

On this day

May 30, 1822 a sellout of immense proportion took place when “House slave” betrayed Denmark Vesey conspiracy. Vesey conspiracy, one of the most elaborate slaves plots on record, involved thousands of Blacks in Charleston, S.C., and vicinity. Thirty-seven Blacks were hanged.  

Denmark Vesey, originally Telemaque was an African-American man who was most famous for planning a slave rebellion in the United States in 1822. He was enslaved in South Carolina. After purchasing his freedom, he planned an extensive slave rebellion. Word of the plans was leaked, and authorities arrested the plot's leaders at Charleston, South Carolina, before the uprising could begin. Vesey and others were convicted and executed.  

Many antislavery activists came to regard Vesey as a hero. During the American Civil War, abolitionist Frederick Douglass used Vesey's name as a battle cry to rally African-American regiments, especially the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.  

Although it was almost certainly not Vesey's actual home the Denmark Vesey House at Charleston was named a National Historic Landmark in 1976.  

Inspired by the revolutionary spirit and actions of slaves during the 1791 Haitian Revolution, and furious at the closing of the African Church, Vesey began to plan a slave rebellion. His insurrection, which was to take place on Bastille Day, July 14, 1822, became known to thousands of blacks throughout Charleston and along the Carolina coast. The plot called for Vesey and his group of slaves and free blacks to execute their enslavers and temporarily liberate the city of Charleston. Vesey and his followers planned to sail to Haiti to escape retaliation. Two slaves opposed to Vesey's scheme leaked the plot.

Charleston authorities charged 131 men with conspiracy. In total, 67 men were convicted and 35 hanged, including Denmark Vesey.   Sandy Vesey, one of Denmark's sons, was transported, probably to Cuba. Vesey's last wife Susan later immigrated to Liberia. Another son of his, Robert Vesey, survived to rebuild Charleston's African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1865.

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