A Documented History of Gullah Jack Pritchard and the Denmark Vesey Slave Insurrection of 1822

Author: Walker, Lois
Silverman, Susan
The Denmark Vesey slave revolt of 1822 was one of the most massive slave revolts ever planned, involving an estimated 9,000 slaves. The plot was discovered only two days before the scheduled uprising. In the aftermath, over 100 slaves were arrested, 35 executed. One of the slaves executed was an African-born conjurer names Gullah Jack Pritchard. He recruited his fellow Angolan countrymen by promising them protection with the magic charms he distributed. His cunning, persuasion and knowledge of African religion induced many to enlist in the ill-fated revolt. Though much has been written about Denmark Vesey, this monograph is the first to detail the importance of Gullah Jack in the insurrection. It integrates original documents along with narrative detailing the life of Gullah Jack prior to and during the planned insurrection. The original documents, providing the flavor of the time, have been duplicated as close to their original format as possible.


“Included in the work are a variety of primary source documents usually found only in specialized archives and libraries. By bringing together into one volume these original works, the authors have done the scholarly community a tremendous service. Researchers will now have instant access to material that heretofore has been scattered through many locations. . . In addition, they have written insightful explanatory narratives that link the primary documents together. As a result, the reader is provided a thorough understanding of both the context and nature of the Vesey revolt and the critical role played by Gullah Jack. . . . The authors have taken great pains to present these documents in a style and font true to the originals. . . . should serve as a standard reference work for the study of American slavery for years to come.” – Robert M. Gorman

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings)
Preface; Introduction
1. From Africa to Charleston: Original Documents
2. Life in Charleston in the Early 1800’s: Original Documents
3. Gullah Jack Pritchard’s Life in Charleston: Original Documents
4. Discontent Leading Up to the Revolt: Original Documents
5. Gullah Jack’s Role as a Conjurer: Original Documents
6. Gullah Jack’s Role in the Insurrection: Original Documents
7. Arrests and Trials: Original Documents
8. Charleston in the Aftermath: Original Documents
9. The Slave Insurrection of 1822: Original Documents
10. Effects of the Insurrection: Original Documents
11. Portrayal of the Insurrection: Original Documents
Bibliography; Index