The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part I
The truth has been buried more than one hundred years . . . Leading a small army of slaves, Nat Turner was a man born with a mission: to set the captives free. When words failed, he ignited an uprising that left over fifty whites dead. In the predawn hours of August 22, 1831, Nat Turner stormed into history with a Bible in one hand, brandishing a sword in the other. His rebellion shined a national spotlight on slavery and the state of Virginia and divided a nation’s trust. Turner himself became a lightning rod for abolitionists like Harriet Beecher Stowe and a terror and secret shame for slave owners. In The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1: The Witnesses, Nat Turner’s story is revealed through the eyes and minds of slaves and masters, friends and foes. In their words is the truth of the mystery and conspiracy of Nat Turner’s life, death, and confession. The Resurrection of Nat Turner spans more than sixty years, sweeping from the majestic highlands of Ethiopia to the towns of Cross Keys and Jerusalem in Southampton County. Using extensive research, Sharon Ewell Foster breaks hallowed ground in this epic novel, revealing long-buried secrets about this tragic hero.

The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part I Details

TitleThe Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part I
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 2nd, 2011
PublisherHoward Books
ISBN-139781416578031
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction, Christian Fiction, Fiction

The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part I Review

  • Lois
    January 1, 1970
    This book was ok. I honestly felt like it featured too many white pov characters. I don't like Harriet Beecher Stowe and didn't enjoy her as a pov. Also it was a bit heavy on Christianity.sigh
  • Lashanda
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a fan of Sharon Ewell Foster and I must say, she has done it again. Reading the book, you feel like you are right there with the characters waiting for the sign. The emotion was so real. Being taken from your land and stripped of your identity is enough to break anybody but not "Nancy." Nat Turner was the product of rape. But that didn't keep her from loving her son. She taught him about his ancestors. He in turn taught her the way the "Americans" were taught. She was livid about the lies an I'm a fan of Sharon Ewell Foster and I must say, she has done it again. Reading the book, you feel like you are right there with the characters waiting for the sign. The emotion was so real. Being taken from your land and stripped of your identity is enough to break anybody but not "Nancy." Nat Turner was the product of rape. But that didn't keep her from loving her son. She taught him about his ancestors. He in turn taught her the way the "Americans" were taught. She was livid about the lies and confronted Nat's father. He made promises that were never upheld. Nat Turner was hated by many but he was determined to live out his purpose. If you're a lover of historical fiction, this is definitely the book for you. Great work Foster! I'm anxious for part two.
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  • Mary E Trimble
    January 1, 1970
    Sharon Ewell Foster has written a memorable novel, The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part One: The Witnesses, based on the true character, Nat Turner (1800-1831), a slave born on a Virginia plantation. Nat Turner’s mother, enslaved after being kidnaped from her home in Ethopia, was raped by her master, Benjamin Turner, resulting in the birth of her son. Nat was much loved by his mother who often spoke about his upper-class African heritage. Benjamin Turner allowed Nat to be instructed in reading, Sharon Ewell Foster has written a memorable novel, The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part One: The Witnesses, based on the true character, Nat Turner (1800-1831), a slave born on a Virginia plantation. Nat Turner’s mother, enslaved after being kidnaped from her home in Ethopia, was raped by her master, Benjamin Turner, resulting in the birth of her son. Nat was much loved by his mother who often spoke about his upper-class African heritage. Benjamin Turner allowed Nat to be instructed in reading, writing, and religion. He was an exceptional student, to the dismay of other slave owners, fearing an educated slave could cause trouble.And trouble he caused. Nat Turner became a preacher who claimed he had been chosen by God to lead slaves from bondage.The novel goes into some detail about the kidnapping of Africans, bringing them to America to be sold to land owners as laborers. Ill treated, often without proper clothing for the cold Virginia winters, nor given adequate food, the plight of a slave was dismal. Punishments, often undeserved, were harsh. Families were often separated for profit.At first Nat Turner tried talking to various people about the injustices of slavery, claiming it was against God’s will. When that failed, he led an uprising that left over fifty white people dead. The resulting trials were a mockery of the law with unsubstantiated testimonials, unreliable witnesses, and death to many innocent slaves whose execution actually brought profit to their owners. Nat Turner’s rebellion brought nationwide attention to slavery and fueled abolitionists’ cause.The Resurrection of Nat Turner discusses the injustice and horror of slavery. The novel is quite graphic and at times relentlessly grim. The cruelty and bigotry of people who considered themselves Christians was troubling. The novel, though at times dark, is obviously well researched. I enjoyed Sharon Ewell Foster’s writing style and appreciated seeing another view of African religion and its parallels to what we call Christianity.This novel’s sequel, The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part Two: The Testimony, reveals the story of Nat Turner through his own eyes.For another view of our nation’s history, read The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part One: The Witness. It’s stark frankness is enlightening and answers questions about attitudes, slavery, and hardships of the period.
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    What an outstanding book!!! Although this book is a work of fiction, it is based on factual accounts and real people and Foster has done very thorough research in writing the novel. The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1: The Witnesses tells the story of Nat Turner, a slave who led a slave revolt in Virginia in 1831. The story is told from the viewpoints of multiple characters including slaves, slaveowners, Nat's mother, and Nat's attorney. The book is so much more than a dry description of even What an outstanding book!!! Although this book is a work of fiction, it is based on factual accounts and real people and Foster has done very thorough research in writing the novel. The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1: The Witnesses tells the story of Nat Turner, a slave who led a slave revolt in Virginia in 1831. The story is told from the viewpoints of multiple characters including slaves, slaveowners, Nat's mother, and Nat's attorney. The book is so much more than a dry description of events but Foster's writing illuminates the very soul of the characters involved in the events. At times, it was difficult for me to keep on reading because it was so intense and I felt such horror at the evil that was afflicted on the slaves both in their day-to-day lives and in the aftermath of the revolt. Although I have read many books which touch upon slavery in the United States, I think this one affected me most deeply in how the characters and their suffering--physical, emotional, spiritual--were made so real. I highly recommend this book! I think I'm going to have to wait a while before tackling the next book The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 2.
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  • Adrienna
    January 1, 1970
    Ironically, I am reading from the author's note and other commentaries in the back of the book first. The key points I enjoyed early in the book (Harriet) was the notion of Africans that were enslaved on American soil to go back to Africa...how is that possible when we toiled, died, and molded America to what it is today by the labor of our hard work forced upon us during this time span mentioned in the book--1800s. Reminded how we (Africans enslaved) were also conditioned to follow their laws/r Ironically, I am reading from the author's note and other commentaries in the back of the book first. The key points I enjoyed early in the book (Harriet) was the notion of Africans that were enslaved on American soil to go back to Africa...how is that possible when we toiled, died, and molded America to what it is today by the labor of our hard work forced upon us during this time span mentioned in the book--1800s. Reminded how we (Africans enslaved) were also conditioned to follow their laws/rules otherwise risked death.Will's story was a wake-up call from my past ancestors and historical events including passion and emotional thought-process that led to the Nat Turner's revolt. Two names (Nat Turner): preacher and prophet. Nancie's story is where one is able to get a sense of slavery--their captors, on the long-mortified journey overseas, and losing the sense of their own religion, stripped from their names and languages--not the same as their captor's religious beliefs and reasoning for enslaving Africans to the New World (America). (There are several other documentaries in the novel too from their perspective).I am reading my first historical insight on slavery versus watching Roots in my youth. Amazed on certain parts how the author draws me in (regardless of the slow spots due to narration) the story as if I was there; some words in the Ethiopian dialect, I wished was a glossary to share the meanings. I know with other languages in novels, usually isn't shared and only selected few will have a glossary in the back for review."only men (w/o guns) against all odds, despite their fears, summon the courage to stand (page 118)." I loved this line in the literature reading because I can also apply this to my own life aside from being a man but a woman! I need the courage to stand and remain firm in what God has called me to do and let go of all fears but to stand boldly and confidently!Sharon Ewell Foster writing opened my mind's eye in comparison to my past teachings in Advanced English course in senior year of high school and taken a couple Africology classes in college. I would recommend this reading in history classes, advanced English courses in high school and even some college courses. Great for discussion among families that want to know about historical events--Black people/Africans/African Americans. Other cultures are welcome to embrace and enlightened with this piece of literature too.*I need to get this in my own library.
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  • Caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    Here's the thing, I don't really know how to rate this book. It is awkwardly framed by a story in which Harriett Beecher Stowe is supposedly deciding whether to write about Nat Turner, but most of the book is various perspectives on all sides of Nat Turner from before, during, and just after the rebellion.The writing is choppy, the narrative structure barely there, and it was altogether difficult to read. One of the reasons it was difficult to read though was because it does not look away from t Here's the thing, I don't really know how to rate this book. It is awkwardly framed by a story in which Harriett Beecher Stowe is supposedly deciding whether to write about Nat Turner, but most of the book is various perspectives on all sides of Nat Turner from before, during, and just after the rebellion.The writing is choppy, the narrative structure barely there, and it was altogether difficult to read. One of the reasons it was difficult to read though was because it does not look away from the ugliness of this nation's slave history.I knew nothing about Nat Turner or his rebellion before picking this book up, and it was, I think, a good introduction to the matter in how it sought to look beyond the contemporary accounts that seem deeply flawed. Foster speaks in her authors note about her research with primary documents from the courthouse records and how she met ancestors of families affected by the rebellion. This book was incredibly uncomfortable for me to read as a white American, even if none of my ancestors lived in the United States in the antebellum period because I still benefit from some of the attitides and policies that stem from the attitudes of that time.Often when there's a slavery-era historical there is at least one "good" white character who is kind or who is ahead of his or her time or who otherwise is a stand in for the modern, socially conscious white reader so we can look at it and say "see! I wouldn't have participated in slavery, I would have been like that character".Foster does not give us that character, instead she forces us to face that we would likely not have been the revolutionary we imagine. Even Stowe, who is only in the frame story and whose real life Uncle Tom's Cabin played an influential role in the American abolitionist movement is limited by her unwillingness to speak out against her father's wishes.All this to say this book felt important, but it was mostly a chore to read and even on audio I found I was dragging myself through it.
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  • Titilayo
    January 1, 1970
    so despite the ethiopian/coptic christian angle, referring to countries that did not exist in 1800, and improper plural form of edwards's to refer to chattel belonging to them this was a great book. being a nerd who loves history and revolution i give it four stars. got to love the resilence of the human spirit. i appreciate the author's active imagination. viva le historical fiction. probably not going to read the sequeal any time soon; but i appreciate her musing about a real life event bogged so despite the ethiopian/coptic christian angle, referring to countries that did not exist in 1800, and improper plural form of edwards's to refer to chattel belonging to them this was a great book. being a nerd who loves history and revolution i give it four stars. got to love the resilence of the human spirit. i appreciate the author's active imagination. viva le historical fiction. probably not going to read the sequeal any time soon; but i appreciate her musing about a real life event bogged down in secrets, lies, and scandal. a negro who can read better than half the white men in his county dictating his confessions of leading an armed rebellion of chattel slavery in under oath is a tough pill to swallow. i mean negroes aren't men so they can't testify in court or be sworn in. why would a fully literate, reading, writing, and preaching man dictate a contradictory confession that condems himself to imminent death. always wondered about that. when i read william styron's the confessions of nat turner i felt like something was missing this book gives you that. just don't believe the hype that an enslaved african kidnapped in what we call ethiopia would have been marched across the sahara into subsaharan africa to pass through the door of no return when there was a very viable slave trade on the indian ocean that imports millions to asia, euro-asia, the so called middle east, and all points touching the pacific ocean.
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  • Hank Pharis
    January 1, 1970
    (NOTE: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book or a B. 3 stars means a very good book or a B+. 4 stars means an outstanding book or an A {only about 5% of the books I read merit 4 stars}. 5 stars means an all time favorite or an A+ {Only one of 400 or 500 books rates this!).Yet another take on Nat Turner. Foster's novel speculates deeply into Nat Turner's childhood and early years. She writes from a more sympathetic and Christian viewpoint. She totally rejects the alleged confess (NOTE: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book or a B. 3 stars means a very good book or a B+. 4 stars means an outstanding book or an A {only about 5% of the books I read merit 4 stars}. 5 stars means an all time favorite or an A+ {Only one of 400 or 500 books rates this!).Yet another take on Nat Turner. Foster's novel speculates deeply into Nat Turner's childhood and early years. She writes from a more sympathetic and Christian viewpoint. She totally rejects the alleged confession by Nat Turner. She explains: I wanted to explore how different groups, still polarized today, see Turner as folk hero or cowardly fiend. … (439) On January 23, 2008, I made my way to Courtland/Jerusalem and touched my hands to the Minute Book that holds the records of Nat Turner’s trial … My eyes, adjusting to the script, scanned the page and rested on the following words: … ‘The prisoner Nat alias Nat Turner was set to the bar in custody of the Jailor of the County, and William C. Parker is by the Court assigned Counsel for the prisoner in his defense … pleaded not guilty …’ William Parker? There is no mention of Thomas Gray in the official record of Nat Turner’s trial. Instead, William Parker was Nat Turner’s attorney. Nat Turner pled innocent and offered no confession. ... The truth has been buried for 180 years. I doubt that we will ever know the whole truth, but I know his much is true: some of what we accept as history is no more than fiction. It was a long journey, but it was worth it to bring to light even a bit of truth. I felt that I (440) owed what I was able to decipher - both good and bad - to the descendants of those who died, to those who have previously read the story, too Nat Turner, to his mother. I am not the first to put forward issues with the veracity of Thomas Gray’s Confessions. Historian Henry Irving Tragle - author of The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831, the most in-depth review of documents related to Nat Turner - whose work I learned of after my first visit to Southampton Country, writes: ‘The fascinating thing about the ‘Original Confessions’ is that, while those who wrote about the revolt, or about Nat Turner, used the pamphlet as a primary source, all, without exception seem to have done so without applying to it the normal tests which any historian might be expected to apply to a purported contemporary source. How did it square with other information from recognized sources? Was it consistent with the official records which were available? The book grew out of what I found in the official trial records - of Nat Turner, of slaves and freemen - associated with Nat Turner’s uprising. It is based on the surviving lore provided by people such as Bruce Turner, Rick Francis, and James McGee. I am indebted to them. The Resurrection of Nat Turner is based on nonfictional accounts, as well as fictional accounts provided by such people as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass. It is based on stories my college professor of Southern African literature and African American history, Dr. Eric Adams Welch, told me when I was a second-semesterfreshman at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. (441) … I reread the sworn statement of the Clerk of the County Court of Southampton in the State of Virginia affixed to Gray’s document. James Rochelle was known for being an honest mind. How could Thomas Gary’s account be a lie if an honest man swore that it was true? How could it be a lie if Rochelle swore that Gray read the confession in front of the court? This morning I reread and realized that Rochelle’s carefully worded statement neither verifies the confession nor indicates that it was read in court. Instead, Rochelle names six of the ten judges who sat for Nat Turner’s trial and says they were: ‘… members of the Court which convened at Jerusalem, on Saturday the 5th day of November, 1831, for the trial of Nat alias Nat Turner, a negro slave, late the property of Putnam Moore, deceased, who was tried and convicted, as an insurgent in the late insurrection in the county of Southampton aforesaid, and that full faith and credit are due, and ought to be given to their acts as Justices of the peace aforesaid. (Seal) In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Court aforesaid, to be affixed this 5th day of November, 1831. James Rochelle C.S.C.C. Not a word about Gray of the confession. We see what we expect to see. … Sharon Ewell Foster April 7, 2011
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  • milka
    January 1, 1970
    This book is amazing! I listened to it in audio version, and despite it's length finished it in less than 24 hours. If you are a fan of historical fiction, and have always been curious about Nat Turners rebellion, read this! If you are tired of history written and recounted by mobsters wishing to absolve themselves of the horrors they committed, read this! I know that it is a work of fiction, but it gives me hope.
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  • Damon
    January 1, 1970
    Well done! Outstanding book. Great read and great details provider from multiple perspectives. Long read on your phone but impossible to put down.
  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I learned a little about Nat Turner in a previous historical fiction book, and right as I was returning it to the library, this one was sitting out on display, so I grabbed it.Things I liked: I feel like the author really tried to explore different viewpoints, although not super objectively, but still, it was interesting to see the same time frame from different point of view. The very vivid descriptions portrayed in the memories of one slave that was captured from and shipped over on a boat cau I learned a little about Nat Turner in a previous historical fiction book, and right as I was returning it to the library, this one was sitting out on display, so I grabbed it.Things I liked: I feel like the author really tried to explore different viewpoints, although not super objectively, but still, it was interesting to see the same time frame from different point of view. The very vivid descriptions portrayed in the memories of one slave that was captured from and shipped over on a boat caused the most poignant feelings I've ever had about that whole situation. And I thought I understood the horror. But reading it from the perspective of one that was there, was very powerful.Things I wasn't crazy about: Too many perspectives on the same time period without much action. The book sort of read like 6-8 character development studies, all based around the same scenario. It was interesting for a while. But then, it got sort of boring. There wasn't much going on. She tired to add some storyline to each narrative, but it was pretty slow going.
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  • Lissa
    January 1, 1970
    This is why Sharon Ewell Foster is my favorite author. Foster is amazing. Stunning. Wow.... A historical gem, the storytelling literally transports you to Jeffersonian Virginia. So epic. So well researched. So well interpreted. So inclusive. So awe inspiring. The scale is Gone with the Wind or Grapes of Wrath. I thought Nat Turner was just a footnote in history. He was just a slave, a brief history character that was violent. He wasn't human or real. But I am just blown away. Nat Turner, a revol This is why Sharon Ewell Foster is my favorite author. Foster is amazing. Stunning. Wow.... A historical gem, the storytelling literally transports you to Jeffersonian Virginia. So epic. So well researched. So well interpreted. So inclusive. So awe inspiring. The scale is Gone with the Wind or Grapes of Wrath. I thought Nat Turner was just a footnote in history. He was just a slave, a brief history character that was violent. He wasn't human or real. But I am just blown away. Nat Turner, a revolutionary and patriot led a freedom army in 1831. I read this in three days! If you like non-fiction, biographies, or historical books this is definitely for you. There was so much detail. Fantastic! I can't wait for part two. I had no idea... I just bought another copy for my 27 Year Old Brother.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I thought I had written a review for the book which I found great. I loved how the author developed the story line, it made Nat Turner more of a person instead of someone that one day tried to kill up some white people. This book incorporated his life, his mother who had memories of the place she was captured and brought to the shores of American. I plan to read her second book on this subject. Thanks for your research and spenning this story Ms. Foster
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  • Liza
    January 1, 1970
    It was a little confusing listening to this audio book, as there were so many characters I could not concentrate on the whole story. I paid a little more attention toward the end, when the "trial" was taking place. Very interesting that there was even a trial when slaves weren't considered believable beings. All that was needs was enough whites to believe one story and the truth goes out the window.
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  • James Lucas
    January 1, 1970
    Having read of Nat Turner in history books, the author takes you down a path unimaginable. A lot of miss info arrested and a better perspective of the events brought forward. I will not go into issues of that time compared to today however, I'd recommend this reading to all readers. There are just stories that need to be told that are getting lost in the business of the day.
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  • Connie
    January 1, 1970
    This is a masterpiece; Ms. Foster has been called "the Picasso of the Pen". I agree with this description. This work is very powerful, but it is also devestatingly sadistic in that it details the horrific behavior of the whites and/or slave owners living in the area of the Rebellion. Please note that I refer to The Rebellion but not the Rebellion of Nat Turner.
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  •  Doris Powell
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the story. I liked how Ms. Foster wrote it. I did not care for the whippings, hangings, etc. that were in the story.That is why I am still debating reading part 2, THE TESTIMONY. But the author is a very good writer
  • Deborah Parker
    January 1, 1970
    Very riveting. Peaked my interest in exploring more on this part of history.
  • Karen Linton
    January 1, 1970
    This is not a quick read, but it is a good one. Excellent writing.
  • pam graham
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent who is this author who evokes the conscious of the naive and changes the way everything appears.
  • Quinesia Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Well done. Uniquely constructed.
  • Douglas Graney
    January 1, 1970
    A mammoth story. Rich. Enlightening. Highly creative. One of the most unusual and best books I've read. This story goes way beyond the title.
  • Nicole Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    Hard to listen to, but it was worth it. I love this author. Read through audio book.
  • Joseph Wm.
    January 1, 1970
    It gave me knowledge about slavery.
  • Lizziepeps
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing! There are so many lies in Western "history" and I pray the TRUTH will come out! Well done!
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