Denmark Vesey Slave Revolt

Beginning in December 1821, Vesey began to organize a slave rebellion, but authorities were informed of the plot before it could take place. Three hundred thirteen alleged participants were arrested, and 35 including Vesey were executed. The plot created mass hysteria throughout the Carolinas and the South. - NPS



Y/M/D Description Place
1821/12/00 Denmark Vesey begins executing plans for a Slave Revolt Denmark Vesey House, Charleston
1822/00/00 AME church was burned after slave revolt plot was discovered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Charleston
1822/07/02 Denmark Vesey is executed
1822/08/00 In reaction to Denmark Vesey's Rebellion, spiked fencing, (known as "cheveux de fries," French for "frozen hair") is installed at the Brewton house. Miles Brewton House, Charleston
1830/00/00 State Arsenal constructed due to fears resulting from the planned 1822 slave revolt led by Denmark Vesey South Carolina State Arsenal, Charleston

History »


Denmark Vesey, a former African American slave, planned a large rebellion of former slaves and free blacks to coincide with Bastille Day celebrations in Charleston, S.C., in 1822. Vesey modeled his rebellion after the successful 1791 slave revolution in Haiti. His plans called for his followers to execute their slave masters, liberate the city of Charleston, then sail to Haiti before the white power structure could retaliate. Two of the slaves involved leaked details of the plot before it could be implemented. On receiving word of the plot, Charleston authorities mobilized quickly and arrested Vesey and his men. Out of 131 men arrested and charged with conspiracy, 67 were convicted and 35 were hanged, including Vesey.

Denmark Vesey was later held up as a hero among abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass, during the Civil War. Douglass used Vesey's name as a rallying cry in recruiting and inspiring African American troops, including the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. - NPS

Data »

Area of Significance: Rebellion
Crime: Slavery

Shop Amazon
Google Ad

Google Ad