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Modern Voices
Thomas Davis on the long-term impact of the Stono Rebellion
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Q: What was the long-term impact of a rebellion like Stono on the rest of the colony and on the parts of the North American colonies?
Thomas Davis

A: What Stono does is to realize the fear of the great slave rebellion, not only in South Carolina but throughout the English colonies. So that as news gets out, New Yorkers are worried that the slaves in New York City -- a city that has the second largest slave population to Charleston, South Carolina -- that they're going to get out of hand, be unruly, that blood will be shed in their streets. And, in fact, they have in their history in 1712 an example of slaves rising up killing whites in the street. So here is an example of the nightmare made real. And that's its effect, and the reaction to it is to enact more stringent codes, to have some debates whether Africans should be allowed in the colonies, whether South Carolina should continue to rely to the degree that it does on slave labor.
Thomas J. Davis
Professor of History
Arizona State University

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