EBOOK NEW [Denmark Vesey: The Buried Story of America's Largest Slave Rebellion and the Man Who Led It]
It it has many virtues It is well written interesting covers an obscure incident which should be better knownthen I came to the last 100 words which reduced the whole thing to the level of a Hallmark card or below They could have been omitted and the book would not suffer a bit and I would have awarded it 5 stars However they made me go back and review the whole thing and then I got suspicious of other passages where
#Far Too Much Sentimentality And The Author #too much sentimentality and the author own emotions which are not as interesting as he thinks they are crept in I confess that I have never had such an odd experience with a book before I do recommend it but it is flawed Read and enjoy it but bring a skeptical eye to bear on it I am embarrassed to say that I had never heard of Denmark Vesey before reading this book He was a remarkable man According to the report from his trial he was born into slavery in St Thomas then a Denmark colony purchased as a young adolescent by Joseph Vesey a sea captain and slave merchant and then sold to a planter in French Saint Domingue Haiti This was a brutal life and Vesey escaped it by likely faking epileptic fits there is no record of Vesey having epileptic seizures later on Capt Vesey reclaimed Vesey returned the purchase price and used Vesey as a personal assistant and interpreter in his slave trading Vesey was fluent in at least three languages literate and a skilled carpenter a trade that led to his freedomRobertson paints a detailed picture of Charleston SC where Capt Vesey eventually settled Vesey still his slave where by the early 18th century blacks the vast majority of whom were enslaved outnumbered whites The tensions inherent in a society and economy that was predicated on the minority whites bondage of the majority Africans and their descendants are clearly depicted In the late 18th and early 19th centuries it must have been a brutal place to live if blackRobertson s thesis is that white Charleston did everything it good to erase Vesey and his rebellion A lot of what Robertson writes is convincing the absence of any contemporary depictions of Vesey s appearance the minimization of what Vesey attempted in contemporaneous newspapers and the suppression of the trial records which themselves suppressed Vesey s voice and motives written as they were by the white slave owning udges all make it difficult to get a handle on the interior life of Denmark VeseyWhat we know is that he purchased his freedom with the money he won in a lottery having purchased a ticket with funds he earned as a carpenter hired out by his owner one glaring omission in the book is Robertson s failure to explain why Vesey s lottery winnings were not given to his owner Capt Vesey was there some law that gave Vesey then himself property a property interest in the winnings Did Capt Vesey have a legal right to the funds but let Vesey keep them or enough to buy his freedom Robertson *is silent on these uestions We know also that he lived another 22 years as a *silent on these uestions We know also that he lived another 22 years as a man running a carpentry business helping to found the AME Church in Charleston and associating far with slaves than other free blacks We know that he was willing to risk his freedom and his life in an effort to free the slaves of greater Charleston and that he displayed tremendous courage and resolve when arrested charged and eventually executedBut we don t know why he was willing to take such an extraordinary risk According to his Wikipedia entry Vesey s wife and children were slaves and he was unable to purchase their freedom Oddly Robertson glosses over this instead focusing on the fact that Vesey was reported to have many wives in various areas with children by many of those women Robertson also doesn t mention that two years before the attempted uprising South Carolina banned private manumissions freeing of slavesVesey isn t an easy figure for whites to cheer as his planned uprising contemplated in fact reuired the killing of Charleston s white population including children in order for the slaves to escape to the ships and freedom in Haiti or Africa It seems a cold blooded and brutal plan and it s hard to endorse but slavery was a cold blooded and brutal system that was endorsed and enforced by that same white population What other options did Vesey and his followers have if they wanted to be freeObviously Vesey didn t succeed but his audacious vision and plan coupled with his intelligence apparent charisma and extraordinary courage in the face of horrible torture make him a compelling and in my mind admirable figur. Na take the city's arsenal murder the populace burn the city and escape by ship to Haiti or Africa When the uprising was betrayed Vesey and seventy seven of his followers were executed the matter hushed by Charleston's elite for fear of further rebellion Compelling informative and often disturbing this book is essential to a fuller understanding of the struggle against slaver.
David M. Robertson ´ 5 SummaryThe subject of Denmark Vesey and his slave revolt is interesting and reuired reading for anyone who desires to know what pre Civil War America was like The book does an excellant ob generally describing the interaction of slaves and masters in 1820 s South Carolina espically in how slaves dealt with their opression However the book falls short in the specifics of planning and failure of Vesey s revolt This could be because the information is scanty but the book left me with the feeling that there was Vesey organized a revolt that if sucessful would
#have devestated Charleston including the massacre of the white population How Vesey came #devestated Charleston including the massacre of the white population How Vesey came close to suceeding is not adeuately discussed It is left to generalizationsOn the whole the book is very worthwhile reading However it is only a start and suceeds in wetting ones appetite brill Although much of the evidence about Denmark Vesey s revolt was destroyed David Robertson rolled with what he had and produced a plausible account of what happened in Charleston SC After reading this book I went to Charleston for the second time and saw the city in a different light Back in the day the city was not uaint or picturesue it was hell for black people slave and free After reading this I better understand why Mother Emanuel Church was a target of racial hate and I want to read about Denmark Vesey Kudos to David Robertson The parallels between Denmark Vesey s failed slave insurrection in Charleston in 1822 and the start of Toussaint s successful slave insurrection in Saint Domingue now Haiti in 1791 are striking In both circumstances black slaves comprised the vast *majority of the population 75% in Charleston 90% in Saint Domingue In both the hopeful liberators were former slaves who had *of the population 75% in Charleston 90% in Saint Domingue In both the hopeful liberators were former slaves who had literate fairly well to do free blacks Both Toussaint and Vesey distrusted mulattoes who were regarded in both societies as a distinct class with ambivalent loyalties Both leaders took advantage of the disparate religious beliefs of their followers to enhance group cohesivenessIn any such mass event planned well in advance the risk of discovery or betrayal is always great Remarkably in both of these planned insurrections rumors and confessions alerted authorities weeks in advance of the scheduled dates And in both the white slaveholders were incredulous that ignorant simple blacks could possibly coordinate an uprising of the size suggested by their informants In both instances the threat was dismissed as fantasy As we know the French authorities of Saint Domingue were too late in recognizing the magnitude and reality of the uprising Few of us however have grasped the slim margin of time by which white Charlestonians were able to prevent a similar success in Charleston Considering that Charleston was the prime destination of French planters fleeing the conflagration in Saint Domingue Charlestonians should have been attuned to the threat brought on by their slaveholding minority autocracy But as Robertson points out there was a degree of theater involved in living as a dominant white minority among a vast population of black slaves and part of that theater was the belief by slaveholders that their slaves were grateful for being well treated that slaves could recognize that it is better to be fed and clothed and sheltered as a slave than to be free as a savage This delusion led to the Charlestonians nearly fatal delay in responding to the signs of impending insurrectionSTRENGTHS The story of Denmark Vesey is as fine an example of Silencing the Past in Michel Rolph Trouillot s words as the story of Saint Domingue Despite the conscious efforts of Charlestonians to obliterate the history of the event efforts well chronicled by Robertson the author has assembled a creditable body of confirmed and probable details about Vesey and the planned insurrection His unflinching thoroughness is revealed in such details as the fact that Peter Prioleau the slave who initially betrayed the plot was freed in 1822 by a special act of the legislature and given a lifetime pension We learn that by 1840 Prioleau is himself the owner of 7 slaves The brief text 153 pages is readable compelling and well documentedIn an appendix Robertson includes 1 paragraph biographies of the other men who and well documentedIn an appendix Robertson includes 1 paragraph biographies of the other men who executed along with Denmark Vesey These poignant scraps are practically all that is know of many of these would be liberatorsInterestingly we learn that Vesey s attempted insurrection apparently led to the US s refusal to grant diplomatic recognition to the Republic. In a remarkable feat of historical detective work David Robertson illuminates the shadowy figure who planned a slave rebellion so daring that if successful it might have changed the face of the antebellum South This is the story of a man who like Nat Turner Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X is a complex yet seminal hero in the history of African American emancipationDenmark Vesey .
Of Haiti until the US Civil War This veritable boycott of the Western Hemisphere s second oldest republic by its older brother may be seen as a significant cause of Haiti s financial and political instability during the first half of the 19th centuryWEAKNESSES I m stumped here Perhaps *the only shortcoming i can point out is *only shortcoming I can point out is the text would be enhanced by a period map of Charleston to enable the reader to follow some of the geographical commentaryCONCLUSION This short fluidly written history of an event which could have resulted in a stunning alteration of American history is also great reading Great book to read indeed Author takes what little we know about Bessy and lays the unarticulated pieces of a historical puzzle out for us to draw useful inferences about the meaning and utility of Veseys model of resistenceAuthors let s his whiteness get in the way "AT THE END WHEN SURMISING THE INTERNAL NARRATIVE OF " the end when surmising the internal narrative of contemporary inhabitants of Veseys landscape in charleston Waxing nostalgic wasn t necessary or intellectually honest ust a good reminder of the need for eyes on this story The History I read of this Country the I seem to read about South Carolina I am not a concentrated reader of The Civil War and while South Carolina played key roles in that conflict it also was the locale of a number of additional notable events in this Country s History If I were to pick one State the approximate vintage of South Carolina I cannot make a better argument for a single State that was as independently oriented and that defended its independence from influence outside its borders and defended it with even greater passion from any Federal influence To the very present South Carolina has been expressing the same theme through the issue of what Flag they will fly over their Capital and who the decision will be made by A decision was reached the flag may no longer fly over the Capital but it shall fly not far from itDenmark Vesey s birthplace is unknown contrary to the conflicting commercial reviews From the book It is not confirmable whether Vesey was born in Africa or The West Indies If there is a consistent thread through the book it is how much is not known about this man who attempted what would have been a massive Rebellion Slave in makeup or otherwise composed This is not to say the book is not well done uite the contrary I believe that the documentation achieved by Mr David Robinson is nothing short of remarkable when the effort to destroy all remnants of the rebellion is considered The book loses no credibility because we don t know from what tree he was executed nor where his body was finally buried These issues are legend than they will ever be fact but these issues do not change the heart of the event and the facts of what took place Even Mr Vesey s appearance is unknown except for the most impressionistic of drawings the man visually is an enigmaThe story as related is brief 153 pages But as evidenced by photographs and 40 pages of notes the Historical detective work was clearly done The Author presents what he knows makes very little speculation and to the extent he does he places his feelings in a distinct chapter A Personal ConclusionStaying away from the story so as not to spoil it there was however an aspect of the South in 1822 that I had never read about in such detail There were not 2 groups there were many Slaves freed slaves like Mr Vesey and very defined and distinct groups among the black and white Communities The distinctions amongst the people that Vesey wished to lead were the same that lead to his rebellions defeatIt is necessarily a brief story unless information comes to light With the material at hand and the documentation the Author found I believe he did a very credible Unholy Empire (Chronicles of the Host job of relating a relatively unknown event in our HistoryThe uestion of what would have happened had Vesey succeeded and the implications on this Country are not to be found in the book nor do I believe it would be appropriate for such counter factual debate to be placed in a Historical work The what if scenarios are varied and certainly would have been momentous However History did not take place as Mr Vesey planned and the historical record was systematically destroyed to the extent possibleWhat is important is that Denmark Vesey and other leaders like him take their place in our Historical record Whether positive negative or aborted events like these must be recounted or our History is incomplete I have never seen a book collapse so uickly I was caught up in. As a charasmatic ex slave literate professional and relatively well off who had purchased his own freedom with the winnings from a lottery Inspired by the success of the revolutionary black republic in Haiti he persuaded some nine thousand slaves tooin him in a revolt On a June evening in 1822 having gathered guns and daggers they were to converge on Charleston South Caroli.