Descendant of Slave Owner Reveals Shocking Family Secret

Author's Connection to Nat Turner Fuels Passion for the Homeless

JERUSALEM, COURTLAND, Va. - Virginir -- On August 1831, Nat Turner led an uprising that ended with his hanging. Newspaper coverage of Turner's revolt helped galvanize the anti-slavery sentiment in the North. Author Eddie Jones of Christ's Church at Moore Square recently talked about his family's role in the rebellion.

Jones said, on December 21, 1812, Elizabeth Reese married Anselam Williamson in Southhampton County, Virginia. Elizabeth bore one daughter, Rebecca Jane. Anselam died in February 1815. Elizabeth then married Samuel G. Turner on June 11, 1818, "owner" of Nat.

In 1821, Nat ran away and hid in the woods. A month later, after receiving a message from God telling him to, "return to the service of my earthly master," he left hiding. In February 1822, Turner died, leaving the farm to his wife.

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"Elizabeth could not afford to keep all the farm ," Jones explained, "so the farm's executor sold Cherry and the kids to another family. Nat was sold to Thomas Moore. We think breaking up his family fueled Nat's hatred toward the Turners."

"When Thomas Moore died in 1830, his widow became Nat's new owner. She married John Travis and Nat was sent to work on Travis's land. By then, though, Nat had received what he believed were heavenly visions and words from God to rise up."

On February 12, 1831, there was an eclipse of the sun. Nat took this to mean that the Lord's message to him — "Arise and prepare myself, and slay my enemies with their own weapons." — was to commence. Nat and four men selected July 4, 1831 as the date of their insurrection, but Nat became ill. On August 13, the sun appeared bluish-green. For Nat, this was the final sign he needed. A week later, on August 21, Nat and six men met in the woods to make plans. At 2 a.m., they set out for the Travis farm and killed the family.

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"When Nat reached the Turner home," Jones said, "he killed Rebecca Jane's mother, Elizabeth, with one quick swing of an ax."

"The trunk you see at the link below belonged to Rebecca Jane's daughter, Julia Ramsey Jones, granddaughter of Elizabeth Turner. My grandfather, William Junius "Buck" Jones, was the grandson of Julia Ann Ramsey Jones.

"Though I bear no guilt for my ancestors actions, I'm passionate about making things right for those who gather at Moore Square, "Raleigh's Main Black Street." Even today, those who have no place to sleep are treated as criminals, In some ways, poverty is but another form of slavery in America."
Learn about Jones' passion to help the homeless at:

LPC Books

Source: LPC Books

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