Denmark Vesey | Palmetto Heritage


The program begins with Vesey discussing the condition of slavery with an acquaintance who is a slave. Later, at a meeting, details of a plot are worked out with co-conspirators. Some are concerned and dismayed that the plot calls for the annihilation of the white population. At a chance meeting between two slaves, William, also a co-conspirator, informs Devany of the plot and asks him to participate. Devany is reticent and visits his friend, Pensel, a free Negro, and asks for his advice. Pinsel advises Devany to steer clear of the conspiracy and to inform his master, Colonel Prioleau, about what he knows. Devany does so and in turn the authorities are informed.

While some initial questions turned up no proof, the conspiracy begins to fall apart. Efforts by Vesey to execute the plan sooner, prove to be unsuccessful and the rebellion was squelched. Arrests and trials result in Vesey and 35 others being hanged. The impact of the plot was that a real fear of slave uprisings engulfed the people of Charleston. This had an effect on lives for years to come. In addition, it gave encouragement to future uprisings elsewhere such as the famed Nat Turner rebellion in Virginia in 1837.