Nat Turner’s Bible
1831, African American Museum
A book testifies to the nation’s most important slave rebellion
When Nat Turner, leader of a slave uprising in Virginia, was captured after a manhunt, he was clasping this pocket-size Bible. The artifact, long held at a Southampton County courthouse, passed to descendants of Lavinia Francis, who survived when her slaveholding family was killed during the insurrection. Francis' descendants were among those who donated the Bible in 2012. “The Spirit appeared to me and said that I should fight against the Serpent,” Turner said before he was hanged.