Africans in America/Part 3/Gabriel's Conspiracy
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Although almost nothing is known about Gabriel's parents, it is likely that his father was a blacksmith, because skills were typically passed from generation to generation in Virginia slave families. As a child, Gabriel was also taught to read and write. Gabriel was unusually intelligent, and unusually large; by the age of 20 he was six feet, two or three inches tall, and was enormously strong from his years of smithing. Even older slaves saw him as a leader.
Prosser died inand his son Thomas Henry Prosser, at the age of 22, became the new master of the Brookfield Plantation. Thomas Henry was a cruel and economically ambitious master, and it is likely that he pushed his slaves too hard. He also hired out some of his skilled slaves, including Gabriel and Solomon, a practice that was common in Virginia at the time -- and one that allowed slaves more freedom than some Virginians were comfortable with.
Although the state legislature made laws attempting to curtail hiring out, they were not enforced, largely because local merchants and artisans relied heavily on the cheap labor that they could get from hiring slaves, as opposed to white tradesmen.
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Thomas Henry allowed Gabriel to hire himself out to masters in and around Richmond, giving him access to a certain amount of freedom, as well as money. Gabriel also met fellow hired slaves, free blacks, and white laborers, with whom he shared work and leisure time.
Many free blacks, though they faced overwhelming discrimination, managed to prosper as small business owners in the Richmond economy. Even more threatening to city authorities were the bonds that were formed among slaves, free blacks and working class whites, who worked and socialized together, especially in a city in which whites, and especially wealthy whites, were in the minority.
Laws were passed curtailing socializing between slaves and free blacks, and interracial grog shops were raided. Gabriel experienced several strong influences: He was moving toward a revolutionary stance that Solomon described in his court confession: When caught by white overseer Absalom Johnson, Gabriel wrestled him to the ground and bit off most of his ear. In court, he was found guilty of maiming a white man, a capital offense, but Gabriel escaped execution through a loophole called "benefit of clergy," that allowed him to choose public branding over execution, if he could recite a verse from the Bible.
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Gabriel recited his verse, and then was branded in his left hand in open court. The branding, as well as the month he spent in jail, was the last in a long chain of offenses that pushed him toward open rebellion. Inspired by Saint Domingue and spurred on by working-class talk of a truly egalitarian society, Gabriel decided it was time to act.
He believed that if the slaves rose and fought for their rights, the poor white people would join them. His plan involved seizing Capitol Square in Richmond and taking Governor James Monroe as a hostage, in order to bargain with city authorities.
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According to later testimony, one of the conspirators also "was to go to the nation of Indians called Catawbas to persuade them to join the negroes to fight the white people.
Gabriel conveyed his plan to Solomon and Ben, another of Prosser's slaves, and the men began recruiting soldiers. They were later joined by other recruiters, most notably Jack Ditcher and Ben Woolfolk. The rebels did not include women in their army.
While the majority of the men were slaves, the conspirators also drew free blacks and a few white workers to their cause, especially as they began recruiting in Richmond. Two Frenchmen and militant abolitionists, Charles Quersey and Alexander Beddenhurst, joined the ranks as leaders. A slave recruit named King, when told of the plot, said, "I was never so glad to hear anything in my life. I am ready to join them at any moment.
I could slay the white people like sheep. After some difficulty, they were also successful in recruiting slaves from the Henrico County countryside. In this way they were preparing for the most far-reaching slave revolt ever planned in U.
They also amassed weapons and began hammering swords out of scythes and molding bullets. By August ofGabriel's army was ready.
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Their plan, necessarily more elaborate now, included the taking of Norfolk and Petersburg by the men living there. Gabriel announced that they would move on the night of Saturday, August Three wounded patients were evacuated to the hospital, where two children were later declared dead. On December 4,seven calls relating to the shooting were made public.
It was presumed that he killed two of the four staff members involved in the altercation the principal and the psychologist and wounded the third the lead teacher in the attack; the fourth staff member was not at the school that day. This was likely because the perpetrator was carrying his brother's identification, Ryan told The Jersey Journal.
Police said he was not considered a suspect, and he was not taken into custody.
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This comprised shots from the rifle and two shots from the 10mm pistol. Lanza fired one shot from the Glock in the hallway and killed himself with another shot from the pistol to the head. Wayne Carver II, the Chief Medical Examiner of Connecticut, was asked about the wounds, and replied "All the ones that I know of at this point were caused by the long weapon.
All the child victims were first graders, and all were killed with the Bushmaster XM Carver said the bullets used were "designed in such a fashion the energy is deposited in the tissue so the bullet stays in. Police found that Lanza had downloaded videos relating to the Columbine High School massacreother shootings and two videos of suicide by gunshot.
An article published in the New York Daily News on March 17,provided purported details of this report by an anonymous law enforcement veteran who had attended the meeting. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police responded that the information from this meeting was "law enforcement sensitive information" and considered the release to be a leak. According to the same officials, it also appeared that Lanza "may have taken target practice in the basement".
It concluded that Adam Lanza had acted alone, and that the case was closed. The report noted that "[Lanza] had a familiarity with and access to firearms and ammunition and an obsession with mass murders, in particular the April shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado.