To begin with, Marc Smith's Stono has provided an extensive account of what primarily took place in the Stono revolt from varied accounts. So to speak, there is much to learn from the well 15 documented accounts from different individuals and the four interpretive essays. In essence, the Stono revolt was the largest revolt ever in American history that led to many killings of the whites and the slaves as well. It happened on a Sunday 9, September, 1739 beginning with about 20 slaves under Captain Jemmy ( Smith 96) According to Smith’s account regarding the documentations and the interpretations, there were several reasons for the revolt along with the exploration and exposition of what was going on in Stono. As a matter of fact, there will be a personal point of view exploration of the revolt and what was going on at Stono. It is important at this point to bring out the central thesis of the documentation; as such, amongst the most significant slave revolts in colonial America, the Stono Rebellion positions as South Carolina largest slave rebellion and one of the bloodiest uprisings in American history.
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Following this point, it is imperative that the slave revolt was took place on a Sunday, 9th, September, 1739, when most of the slaveholders were in church. At this time, most of the slaves were given Sundays as their free day to attend to their own endeavors. Argubaly, most of the slaves in this revolt were Kongolese with Jemmy as their captain. According to some of the accounts, these men were military men and this might have led them to engage in the rebellion (Smith 76).
In the rebellion, the slaves killed 22-25 whites of whom they took arms from. As a result, they used then to kill the whites as they ended to Spanish Florida- St. Augustine whereby they hoped to gain the freedom that they had been promised by the Spanish. There was a proclamation that was previously published by the King of Spain promising freedom and protection to the Negroes slaves (Smith 13). In line with this, some slaves had escaped and received the promised freedom in Augustine and this was known among the slaves in South Carolina. In the light of this, it is arguable that the slaves could not bear the agony of been overworked by their masters while there was some freedom that was promised.
In the same line of thought, the revolt might have been caused by the slaves reacting against the oppressive measures by the masters. Accordingly, it may have been contributed to by the originality of the slaves. As Smith points out within the documentations, the slaves might have acted owing to cultural influence. It is a culture that provided agriculture to be a women practice. From this perspective, the men might have been influenced by such traditions to rebel and fight as men. In fact, as they carried out the killings, they continually confessed that they were African men (Smith 100).
This is evident as they crossed Paul’s parish reasserting themselves as African men and this reflected an opposition due to social and cultural the slaves caught in the Atlantic trade were veteran of conflicts and thus any opportunity that called for revolts, they would carry them comfortably (Smith 99). From the many accounts and interpretations that have been put forward by the primary accounts presented, interpreting a southern slave revolt has been faced with varied interpretations from the perspective of the whites and on the other hand blacks.
Explaining what was really going on in Stono remains to be a very hard task. As such, we are just presented with 20 African slaves raiding a store near Wallace creek a branch of Stono River. Subsequently, they take guns and other weapons of which they kill whites that they meet on the way, men, women and children, at the same time not attacking the slaveholders who treated the slaves well. From a personal point of view, it seems that the slaves were for a long time outraged by the treatment they received from their masters. This is due to the fact they thoughtfully failed to attack those that treated slaves kindly but killed those that were not kind to the slaves (Smith 14). Seemingly, it was a premeditated venture of which they hoped to take revenge as men who were ready to die for what they thought was right. In the same line, they were looking for liberty that was denied them in South Carolina while it was available in Florida Spain. Therefore, the rebellion was about negroes slaves who sought for liberty at all cost from their master’s oppression and thus going for it in Florida Spain. It impact has been marginalized by some, yet, amongst the most significant slave revolts in colonial America, the Stono Rebellion positions as South Carolina largest slave rebellion and one of the bloodiest uprisings in American history.
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