To Horatio Turpin 1802

Title: Letter to Horatio Turpin regarding slave insurrection
Author: Frank Cann
Event: Slave Insurrection in Virginia
Type: Letter
Source: Virginia State Archive 

Dear Jim.

Williamsburg January 19th, 1802

That every know, and be informed of a circumstance which equally concerns every citizen of Virginia, is the principal motive which urged me to write you this letter. The citizens of this place received such information yesterday, as no leave us room to doubt, but that an insurrection of the Negro would shortly take place in the town.  Accordingly the town hall met and adopted such measures as the emergency of the occasion would permit; through means adequate to prevention even the most partial, of the consequences which would inevitably result from such an event.  A patrol of six were ordered out, whose only object was to give an alarm, in case the insurrection actually took place, and what possible and would it answer surely to give an alarm, then there is  scarcely a possibility of an individual’s making and were to attempt in would be only the unocassional  effort of despair?  Without arms without the men where it to make was a few of defenses what could the citizens of their place do, unlike or they are important hence forth why and dead to every cause of a danger which so intimately threatens them?  I do not believe that twenty stand [with] arms in the places and northerners that the inhabitants make no exertion to obtain them no proposition for defense.

The grounds on which this letter is written, are the most effective and in undoubted they are chiefly conversation overheard between negroes.  And one after them adopted Tho [mas] Weary in the street yesterday evening in a conversation which left not even the smallest grounds for doubting that an insurrection was in agitation.