Rebellion in the Early Republic – Gabriel’s Rebellion | 5

Rebellion in the Early Republic – Gabriel’s Rebellion | 5

As a new century dawned on the United States, an enslaved blacksmith named Gabriel began planning a bold plot to overthrow slavery in Virginia’s capital. The uprising would change the future of slavery in the South.

In the spring and summer of 1800, the charismatic Gabriel recruited an army of enslaved artisans, freedmen, and white laborers in Richmond and the surrounding countryside. They fashioned homemade weapons out of farming tools and scrap metal. They planned to attack white merchants, storm Richmond’s treasury, and kidnap Governor James Monroe. By August, hundreds of men had joined Gabriel’s Rebellion, making it the most extensive slave plot the South had seen yet.

But when the day finally came to seize Richmond, a late summer storm threatened to doom Gabriel’s plans.

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