Gabriel's Rebellion

Gabriel's Rebellion (HMGFG)

Location: Henrico, VA 23228 Henrico County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 35.951', W 77° 27.916'

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A Failed Insurrection

Adjacent to this park, in a location known as Young's Spring (1), Gabriel, a slave of Thomas Prosser, was appointed leader of the rebellion in the summer of 1800. He lived on Brookfield Plantation (2) in Henrico County. His objectives were to overtake the capital and convince Governor James Monroe to support more political, social, and economic equality between members of society. Gabriel targeted area slaves, white artisans, freemen, religious supporters and French sympathizers as recruits for his revolution.

The rebellion was planned for the night of August 30, 1800. Slaves from neighboring counties were to meet just north of Brook Bridge (3) on Brook Road. Once assembled, the rebels would kill the plantation owners in the area to insure the secrecy of the plot. They would proceed to Richmond and meet others from Petersburg. One band would secure Mayo's Bridge (4) and set fire to Rocketts (5), a warehouse district in Richmond, as a diversion. A second band would capture the State Capitol (6). They would then kidnap Governor Monroe and persuade him to accept their demands.

The scheme failed due to a massive thunderstorm that made roads and bridges impassible. The rebel leaders rescheduled for the next evening, but it was too late. Two slaves from Meadow Farm (7), Tom and Pharaoh, informed their owner, Mosby Sheppard, of the plot. Sheppard notified Governor Monroe, who called out the militia to protect the capital. Gabriel escaped down the Chickahominy River and eventually to Norfolk.

On September 23, 1800, Gabriel was arrested and imprisoned at the newly built Penitentiary (8). The Henrico Court (9) tried and convicted Gabriel and more than twenty rebels for conspiracy. Gabriel was executed at the Gallows (10) on October 10, 1800.
Placed ByCounty of Henrico
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 9:13am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 282366 N 4164202
Decimal Degrees37.59918333, -77.46526667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 35.951', W 77° 27.916'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 35' 57.06" N, 77° 27' 54.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2001-2045 Park St, Henrico VA 23228, US
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