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(born c. 1775, near Richmond, Va.died September 1800, Richmond, Va., U.S.) American slave who planned the first slave rebellion in U.S. history. Born to an African-born mother, he grew up as the slave of Thomas H. Prosser. In 1800 the deeply religious Gabriel planned a slave insurrection to create an independent slave state in Virginia with himself as king. Intending to attack Richmond and kill all whites except Frenchmen, Methodists, and Quakers, he assembled 1,000 slaves outside the city on August 30, but a violent rainstorm washed out bridges and scattered the rebels. Before they could reassemble, Gov. James Monroe learned of the plot and ordered out the state militia. Gabriel and 34 others were arrested, tried, and hanged.
Variants of GABRIEL
Gabriel or Gabriel Prosser
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Gabriel, visit Britannica.com.