Denmark Vesey's 1822 Plan to Revolt
A former slave born in 1787 in St. Thomas, he purchased his freedom at the age of 32. Vesey was well educated and spoke both French and Spanish fluently. Inspired by the bible description of how the children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt from bondage; he devised a plan to overthrow Charleston, South Carolina with enslaved blacks on July 14, 1822. He presented his plan to slaves who had earned a level of respect and trust amongst the other slaves, and strictly forbade that they didn’t recruit or share any of the plans with ‘house slaves’; many of them were either the children of the masters they served or delusional enough to believe that their slave status was somehow higher than the other field slaves. He divided the group of slaves based on their presumed African lineage, and planned a six pronged attack on the city of Charleston.
One of the recruited slaves revealed the plans to several slave masters, and most of Vesey’s trusted lieutenants were arrested May 31. This made Vesey change the attack date to June 16 to throw off his enemies; however George Wilson, a mixed-race slave who was deeply loyal to his master, revealed the plans of the revolt to his master, launching a search for the conspirators.
Vesey and others were arrested, and hung on July 2, 1822 for a revolt that never even came fruition.