"The Confessions of Nat Turner" from the Richmond Enquirer
This summary and review of Thomas Gray’s Confessions of Nat Turner quotes heavily from the pamphlet and explains that the descriptions of the massacre and Nat Turner are “terrific” and make the “blood run cold.” While “the whole pamphlet is deeply interesting,” the editor questions the authenticity of the confessions, doubting that a slave could have expressed himself so “eloquently and classically.” In writing the confession in the first person, Gray has given “the bandit a character for intelligence which he does not deserve, and ought not to have received.” This doubt does not stop the editor from including lengthy extracts of the pamphlet. The editor concedes that besides this discrepancy, the pamphlet “appears to be faithful and true.” The writer concludes with a reprimand to Northern abolitionists. “It ought to warn Garretson [sic] and other fanatics of the north how they meddle with these weak wretches.”
“The Confessions of Nat Turner,” Richmond Enquirer. From the collection of the American Antiquarian Society.