AMERICAN SITES OF SLAVE REBELLION: STONO, SOUTH CAROLINA

(2020)






The South Carolina Historical Markers Guide gives the following information on the Stono Rebellion:

10-48 THE STONO REBELLION (1739)
4246 SAVANNAH HIGHWAY (U.S. HWY. 17), JUST NORTH OF ITS INTERSECTION WITH S.C. HWY. 162, RANTOWLES

The Stono Rebellion, the largest slave insurrection in British North America, began nearby on September 9, 1739. About 20 Africans raided a store near Wallace Creek, a branch of the Stono River. Taking guns and other weapons, they killed two shopkeepers. The rebels marched south toward promised freedom in Spanish Florida, waving flags, beating drums, and shouting "Liberty!"

The rebels were joined by 40 to 60 more during their 15-mile march. They killed at least 20 whites, but spared others. The rebellion ended late that afternoon when the militia caught the rebels, killing at least 34 of them. Most who escaped were captured and executed; any forced to join the rebels were released. The S.C. assembly soon enacted a harsh slave code, in force until 1865.

In African Dimensions of the Stono Rebellion, John Thorton provides some interesting insights. Contemporaneous accounts describe the rebells as a hord of murderous drunken slaves. Tracing slave trade records, Thornton shows that the rebelling enslaved Africans were probably defeated Congolese soldiers who had been sold into slavery by their Angolan captors. He points out that the dancing, singing, flag waving and drum beating of the rebels corresponds to numourous descriptions of Congolese soldiers marching into war in Africa.



















Additional photographs to follow