Turner escaped and hid in the woods for two months until he was captured and taken to the jailhouse in the county seat of Jerusalem, today the town of Courtland, Virginia. View Images Thomas Ruffin Gray’s “The Confessions of Nat Turner” was based on an interview Gray conducted with Turner before Turner was killed. Some historians believe Gray took liberties with his pamphlet and it may not represent an accurate portrayal of Turner. Photograph by Everett Collection Historical, Alamy Much of our knowledge of Turner comes from Courtland. Between his trial and execution, he was interviewed by lawyer Thomas Ruffin Gray. The interviews were compiled in a pamphlet entitled “The Confessions of Nat Turner: The Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, Virginia.” Extra resourcesThis serves as the main historical record of who Nat Turner the man may have been. But its an imperfect record. Some historians think Gray took personal liberties with how he presented Turner, and they believe the authenticity of the pamphlet may be compromised. Many other popular ideas about Turner were shaped by a work of outright fiction: William Styrons Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Confessions of Nat Turner, which was released in 1967. The volume remains controversial as its Caucasian author takes on the voice of the black slave preacher turned revolutionary and steeps it with a fevered sexual obsession for white women.
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