The Fires Of Jubilee

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The Fires of Jubilee Book Review The Fires of Jubilee, written by Stephen B. Oates, is about a slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. This insurrection was so potent that it devastated the South and planted the seeds for Civil War. For the most part, the novel is a biography of Nat Turner. On October 2, 1800, Nat Turner was born into slavery in Southampton County, Virginia. He had the markings of an African leader and possessed many skills and personal attributes that led many whites and slaves alike to believe he was special. He could fluently read and write, which was a skill uncommon among slaves. Furthermore, he never drank or desired another person's property or money. Nat was serious about religion and eventually became a talented orator. He claimed to be able to see visions and to heal others with his hands. On Sundays, Nat often traveled to different parts of the County to preach Christian sermons to other slaves.

On the exterior, Nat Turner seemed to be an obedient and loyal slave to his masters. His masters believed him to be a trustworthy, docile, submissive, Christian worker. As long as Nat completed his work and paid deference to the whites, they allowed him to continue with his "harmless" preaching. However, they greatly misjudged him; deep inside, Nat was tortured by hateful emotions. He resented the way white people believed that "all men are created equal," yet they hypocritically enslaved his people. Nat had several visions conveying to him his duty to lead an insurrection against slavery. Thus on August 22, 1831, the sign from God came to him as a solar eclipse and sometime after midnight Nat's crew of six began slaughtering the whites from farm to farm. Turner amassed about sixty slaves, some willing...