The greatest fear for landowning, aristocratic whites in the Antebellum South was slave insurrection or rebellion.  In states like South Carolina where the slave population far outnumbered the white population many steps were taken to maintain security and order by authorities and government officials.

One of the most famous insurrections or rebellions was one that in fact did not take place. Denmark Vesey was a slave that managed to gain his freedom after arriving as a slave in Charleston, SC.  Vesey orchestrated a slave rebellion plot that was to take place in July of 1822.  Word spread quickly throughout the slave populations in both Charleston and low country of Vesey’s plot- slaves throughout, as well as free blacks, were to rise up against their masters and white society. Vesey and his fellow plotters then planned on sailing to present-day Haiti for safety.

Vesey’s plot was uncovered and the conspiracy unraveled. The plot created a hysteria and panic throughout the white community. Vesey, as well as over 30 followers were hanged as a result of the plot.  In response to the plot and hysteria, authorities in Charleston began to take no chances and started to safeguard against any other future rebellions and insurrections. 

One way in which they achieved security was through architecture, which is still present today. As one can see in the photo attached to this post iron fences around homes in the city began to curve toward the road at their apex.  This would make it nearly impossible for anyone to scale over the fence in either direction, therefore, protecting both property and homeowners. 

 

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