Kingwood College Library

Slavery Revolt

Assignment Guide | History 1301 | Professor Peggy Lambert

The best library assignments are ones that use a variety of resources including books, newspaper and journal articles, internet sites, and even videos or audiocassettes. We encourage you to use all of these sources for this paper. Books should provide some of the best information for a historic topic. You may apply for a library card and request materials online. We hope you will take full advantage of the many resources our libraries offer.

Please contact or Professor Lambert with any questions you may have during your research.



Read The Fires of Jubilee and pick an aspect for research. The following ideas should help inspire you:
1. Compare Turners revolt to another American slave revolt such as the Gabriel Prosser rebellion, Denmark Vesey planned rebellion, or the Stono rebellion.
2. Explore the master/slave relationship in the South.
3.Describe the impact of slavery on slave institutions such as religion and marriage.
4.What techniques did slaves use in order to preserve their culture? How successful were they?
5.Explore the relationship between the abolitionist movement and Nat Turners revolt? Why did the South believe the abolitionists were to blame for the revolt?
6.Compare reportage at the time of the event to what we know now.
7.How did the Nat Turner revolt change the relationship between the North and South? How did both respond to the revolt?

Once you decide on a topic, please get the instructors approval using via course mail. Your research assignment should consist of 4-5 full textual pages (double-spaced) plus a Works Cited page. Use a standard 10- or 12-point font with one-inch margins. A minimum of four sources plus the Oates book is required, with at least one from each of the following: a historical monograph (book), a scholarly journal, and an academic Internet site. Encyclopedias and dictionaries are not acceptable as sources. All sources must appear in the Works Cited page, and those that do must be cited in the paper. Documentation must be parenthetical, and all forms must follow those prescribed in the MLA Handbook. Save your research project in rich text or as a word document and submit it as an attached file, using the course WebCT mail feature. Remember that your assignment should include an introduction with a thesis statement and a conclusion. Check the course calendar for the due date. Fifteen points will be deducted from any late assignment, and no assignment will be accepted more than one week after the due date. The evaluation of this research assignment will focus not only on content but also on clarity, organization, coherence, and use of Standard Written English. Warnings: Plagiarism is theft of another writers words or ideas and will receive a zero.

Librarian talk about Getting Started!

As you begin, narrow your topic to a size that you can manage.  Consider keywords that will help you find the information you need. These can be names of people, events, or broader identifying terms.  Use these keywords for locating information in the library catalog, electronic databases, and on the internet.

Sample Keywords:
Slavery - United States; Slave Insurrections; Slave Revolts; Slave Resistance; Nat Turner; Denmark Vesey; Gabriel Cato; John Brown; Stono Rebellion; Slave Religion; Slave Songs; Slave Narrative; Anti-Slavery Movements; (places like Harper's Ferry)



Librarian Talk about Books!

  • Apply online for a library card.   Use your card to 1) Place a Hold on a book, have it sent to the library closest to you  2) Access journal and newspaper databases from home, and 3) Access Online Book Database (NetLibrary).
  • The catalog is online at

  • Online books (database paid for by our libraries) are available at  Use your library card to log in.  "Check out" online books for 24 hours.

 Books will be your greatest resource for this project.     Here are a few  suggestions.



Librarian Talk about Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles!   Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. To find articles in newspapers and journals, letters, reference books, illustrations, photographs and more, use your updated library card to login to the following databases. If you find an interesting article that is not full-text, please give the correct bibliographic information to our and they will see that you get the article. They will need full bibliographic information - and your name and address. Send your phone number as well, so they can contact you if they need to. There is some overlap of articles in the following databases. However, we encourage you to use more than one. All are excellent sources for this topic.   HINT: For a full list of article databases, go to and use your library card to access these full-text databases from home.

History Resource Center: United States | Contains American history articles, primary sources & reference books.

New York Times Historical | NYT From 1857 - the present.  Search original articles.

Biographies Plus | 45,000 biographies of people from antiquity to the present.

Academic Search Premier | Collection of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles. Many scholarly.

Proquest | Collection of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles. Many scholarly.



Librarian Talk about the Internet!

The Internet will be a wonderful source of original documents. Browse the sites we have suggest below. Remember, you do want to find reputable sites. Look at:

  1. Accuracy - The information should be researched and show proof that it has been.
  2. Source - Who wrote the information? Look at the domain.  .edu .gov. org .net are valid research sources.
  3. Authority - What are the author's credentials?  (Don't quote from another college freshman's paper.)
  4. Coverage - Does the page have the information you need for your research?
  5. Objectivity - If a work is bias, use it - just make sure your professor knows YOU know. And offer both sides of issues, where applicable.

UNACCEPTABLE SOURCE EXAMPLE: - This appears to be part of a book, the information is probably excellent. But there is nothing we can see that tells you title, author, dates, publisher or any of the other needed information.  As it stands, it can not be used in an academic research paper.

Suggested Web Sites

African American Odyssey: Slavery   |  Library of Congress original documents on slavery. Also, search using 'slave insurrections' A good search through this entire site will show many documents from abolitionists, slave songs, and much much more.
History of Slavery  |  Wonderful site with timeline, sound. Good for background information.
The US Civil War Center  |   Excellent links to original papers and articles
Documenting the American South   |   University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill houses a digital collection of original documents, especially first person narratives. Spend a little time here.
Nat Turner   |   PBS site containing the text of The Confessions of Nat Turner plus other text and drawings
Conflict of Abolition and Slavery  |    Another Library of Congress site worth looking at. Contains original anti-slavery newspaper article and maps.
Remembering Slavery  |  Smithsonian sponsored site containing radio programs called Remembering Slavery.  Good material at this site
African Resistance  |  A timeline of African revolts.  Careful.  We are not sure about the author's credentials.  Email and ask
Stono Rebellion  |   America's Library story of the Stono Rebellion, 1739.
Africans in America  |   PBS information about the Stono Rebellion. Links to several primary sources.


Citing Sources Using the Library MLA Style Guide | Kingwood College library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.

Misuse of Sources | Harvard University excellent brief essay on how to avoid plagiarism. Excellent list of 'how to' and 'how to avoid'.

Online Tutoring | Free online tutoring with Smarthinking.

The Learning Center   |   Check our Learning Center hours for in-house tutoring.

Attach your paper to and email to , Assistant Dean. Dr. Terry or one of the writing tutors will read through your paper and make brief comments on your paper and return it to you.

REMEMBER, the expert on this paper is your Professor Lambert.

 Kingwood College Library   |  District Library |  NHMCCD Distance Learning    |  

July 30,  2002 updated Aug. 15, 2002