“Nat Turner and his compeers, in imitation of Washington and the revolutionary heroes, appealed to arms to free themselves from bondage.” Liberator (1842)
All accounts of the rebellion place Nat Turner as the leader, but the extent of his command has been debated. Questions surround how much he alone plotted the rebellion, how successful he was at recruiting others, how much he dictated the events once the rebellion had begun, and why he did not do more of the killings himself. Some depictions of Turner emphasize his complete command of his troops. These favorable depictions laud the discipline he enforced during the siege and attribute the failure of the rebellion solely to the mightiness of the forces it sought to overthrow.