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Gabriel Prosser, born into slavery in 1776 at Henrico County in Virginia was to live a very dramatic but short life up to 10 October, 1800 (Eric, 2006). Being the older of two brothers, Born into slavery in, Gabriel had two brothers, Solomon and Martin, Gabriel was an enslaved blacksmith who entered the history books for planning and attempting to lead a mega slave rebellion in the summer of the year 1800 at the Richmond area (Eric, 2006). Gabriel had the advantage of being literate having been taught how to read and write as he grew up. At an age of 20, (mid-1790's), Gabriel stood at 6.3 feet, with a long and narrow face and always smartly dressed (Eric, 2006). Most of the blacks and whites who later talked about Gabriel, always regarded him as a literate fellow with great courage and a notable intellect that rose above his estate and rank in real life (Eric, 2006).
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Gabriel had hoped to lead some slaves into Richmond on the 30th August 1800. Initially, the revolution was halted and postponed due to heavy rains. This might have given the slaves' owners a cause for suspecting a pending uprising (Egerton, 1993). Gabriel is however remembered for meticulous, bold and convincing leadership as the plans of the revolt continued. Unfortunately, the plans of the revolt were prematurely leaked to the authorities before they could be executed. Two slaves are said to have told their owner, a Mosby Sheppard, that there were plans for an uprising. This foiled Gabriel's plans (Egerton, 1993). The then Virginia Governor, James Monroe, called the state militia and Gabriel, his brothers and twenty-six other masterminds of the revolt were hanged rounded up, tried, convicted and condemned to hang (Egerton, 1993). It was this incidence however, that has been credited by historians as having propelled Virginia as well as other legislatures moved to pass legislative restrictions for all free blacks, their education, their movement and the process of hiring the enslaved (Egerton, 1993).
More than two centuries later, 2002, America paid tribute to Gabriel when the City of Richmond unanimously passed a resolution to honor Gabriel as his 202nd anniversary commemoration (Egerton, 1993). The rebellion also gained fond memories in 2007 when Tim Kaine, the Virginia Governor, granted Gabriel and his 26 followers an unofficial pardon in recognition to the fact that his cause, " end of slavery and furtherance of the equality of all people" ultimately prevailed the American history (Eric, 2006).
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