A new episode of the Madison presidency series is now available!
May 5, 2019

2.21 – I am Gabriel, That Stands in the Presence of God

2.21 – I am Gabriel, That Stands in the Presence of God

Year(s) Discussed: 1792-1801

The revolution in Saint-Domingue inspires enslaved people in the United States to seek their freedom in the 1790s at a time that the slaveocracy was becoming more ingrained in the American economy, society, and legal codes. With a focus on Virginia, this episode will explore the shifts in the American slave system in the late 1790s and the planned insurrection that has come to be known as Gabriel’s Rebellion.


  • Beeman, Richard R. The Old Dominion & The New Nation, 1788-1801. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1972.
  • “Decennial Census Official Publications: 1790.” United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/decade/decennial-publications.1790.html [Last Accessed: 5 May 2019]
  • “Decennial Census Official Publications: 1800.” United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/decade/decennial-publications.1800.html [Last Accessed: 5 May 2019]
  • DuBois, Laurent. Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution. Cambridge, MA and London, England, UK: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005 [2004].
  • Egerton, Douglas R. Gabriel’s Rebellion: The Virginia Slave Conspiracies of 1800 & 1802. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.
  • Fischer, David Hackett, and James C Kelly. Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement. Charlottesville, VA and London: University of Virginia Press, 2000 [2000].
  • Jefferson, Thomas. “To James Monroe, 14 July 1793,” Founders Online, National Archives, version of January 18, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-26-02-0445. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 26, 11 May–31 August 1793, ed. John Catanzariti. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995, pp. 501–503.] [Last Accessed: 13 Apr 2019]
  • Landry, Jerry. The Presidencies of the United States. 2018-2019. http://presidencies.blubrry.com.
  • Monroe, James. “To Thomas Jefferson, 9 September 1800,” Founders Online, National Archives, version of January 18, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-32-02-0086. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 32, 1 June 1800 – 16 February 1801, ed. Barbara B. Oberg. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005, pp. 131–132.] [Last Accessed: 11 Apr 2019]
  • Nettels, Curtis P. The Emergence of a National Economy: The Economic History of the United States, Volume II. White Plains, NY: M E Sharpe Inc, 1962.
  • Rawson, David, and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. “Augustine Davis (ca. 1752 or 1753-1825).” Encyclopedia Virginia. https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Davis_Augustine_c_1752_or_1753-1825. [Last Accessed: 18 Apr 2019]
  • Sharp, James Roger. The Deadlocked Election of 1800: Jefferson, Burr, and the Union in the Balance. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2010.
  • Sublette, Ned, and Constance Sublette. The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2016.
  • Taylor, Alan. The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia 1772-1832. New York and London: W W Norton & Co, 2014 [2013].

Featured Image: “Struggle for freedom in a Maryland barn.” by William Still [c. 1872], courtesy of Wikipedia