Denmark Vesey Photo

Denmark Vesey

Born: 1767

Death: Jul 2, 1822

Nationality: United States

Denmark Vesey

Date of Birth : 1767
Date of Death : Jul 2, 1822

Denmark Vesey probably was born into slavery in St. Thomas but had been a free black for over 20 years before being accused and hanged in 1822 as the ringleader of "the rising," a major potential Charleston, South Carolina slave revolt. A skilled carpenter, Vesey had won a lottery and purchased his freedom at age 32 in 1799. He had a good business and a family, but was unable to buy his first wife Beck and their children out of slavery. Vesey became active in the Second Presbyterian Church; in 1818 he was among the founders of an AME Church in the city, which was supported by white clergy in the city and rapidly attracted 1,848 members, making this the second-largest AME congregation in the nation. In 1820 he was alleged to be the ringleader of a planned slave revolt. Vesey and his followers were said to be planning to kill slaveholders in Charleston, liberate the slaves, and sail to the black republic of Haiti for refuge. By some accounts, it would have involved thousands of slaves in the city and others on plantations miles away. City officials had a militia arrest the plot's leaders and many suspected followers in June before the rising could begin.

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