Turner, Nat (1800–31), U.S. slave and revolutionary. Born on a plantation in Southampton County, Va., he believed that God had chosen him to free the slaves. He gathered 60–70 other slaves and led them in what came to be known as the most serious slave rebellion in the nation's history. About 60 whites were killed, including the family of Turner's owner, Joseph Travis, before the Virginia militia suppressed the revolt 6 weeks later, capturing and hanging Turner and about 20 of his followers. Although the rebellion led to reprisals and stricter laws against slaves, Turner became a symbol for the abolitionist movement.