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Near Richmond in Henrico County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Gabriel’s Rebellion

A Failed Insurrection

 
 
Gabriel’s Rebellion Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, November 21, 2009
1. Gabriel’s Rebellion Marker
Inscription.  Adjacent to this park, in a location known as Young’s Spring (1), Gabriel, a slave of Thomas Prosser, was appointed leader of the rebellion in the summer of 1800. He lived on Brookfield Plantation (2) in Henrico County. His objectives were to overtake the capital and convince Governor James Monroe to support more political, social, and economic equality between members of society. Gabriel targeted area slaves, white artisans, freemen, religious supporters and French sympathizers as recruits for his revolution.

The rebellion was planned for the night of August 30, 1800. Slaves from neighboring counties were to meet just north of Brook Bridge (3) on Brook Road. Once assembled, the rebels would kill the plantation owners in the area to insure the secrecy of the plot. They would proceed to Richmond and meet others from Petersburg. One band would secure Mayo’s Bridge (4) and set fire to Rocketts (5), a warehouse district in Richmond, as a diversion. A second band would capture the State Capitol (6). They would then kidnap Governor Monroe and persuade him to accept their demands.

The scheme failed due to a massive thunderstorm
Gabriel’s Rebellion Map image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, November 21, 2009
2. Gabriel’s Rebellion Map
1. Young’s Spring (Lakeside & Bryan Park Avenue)
2. Brookfield Plantation (East of Route 1 between Parham Road and Brook Run)
3. Brook Bridge (Route 1 & Brook Run)
4. Mayo’s Bridge (14th Street & James River)
5. Rocketts (Dock & Pear Streets)
6. State Capitol (Grace Street between 9th & 12th Streets)
7. Meadow Farm (Courtney & Mountain Roads)
8. Penitentiary (Belvidere & Spring Streets)
9. Henrico County Courthouse (22nd & East Main Streets)
10. The Gallows (15th & Broad Streets)
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that made roads and bridges impassible. The rebel leaders rescheduled for the next evening, but it was too late. Two slaves from Meadow Farm (7), Tom and Pharaoh, informed their owner, Mosby Sheppard, of the plot. Sheppard notified Governor Monroe, who called out the militia to protect the capital. Gabriel escaped down the Chickahominy River and eventually to Norfolk.

On September 23, 1800, Gabriel was arrested and imprisoned at the newly built Penitentiary (8). The Henrico Court (9) tried and convicted Gabriel and more than twenty rebels for conspiracy. Gabriel was executed at the Gallows (10) on October 10, 1800.
 
Erected by County of Henrico.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsLaw Enforcement. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #05 James Monroe series list. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1992.
 
Location. 37° 35.951′ N, 77° 27.916′ W. Marker is near Richmond, Virginia, in Henrico County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Park Street and Bloomingdale Avenue. This marker is located in the parking lot of the Spring Park Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2000 Park Street, Henrico VA 23228, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Spring Park (a few steps from this marker); Young's Spring
Gabriel’s Rebellion Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, November 21, 2009
3. Gabriel’s Rebellion Marker
(about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Joseph Bryan Park (about 700 feet away); Richmond Defences (approx. ¼ mile away); Sheridan Maneuvers East (approx. 0.6 miles away); Adèle Goodman Clark (approx. ¾ mile away); Emmanuel Church at Brook Hill Episcopal (approx. ¾ mile away); Gabriel’s Insurrection (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Richmond.
 
Also see . . .
1. Gabriel’s Rebellion. Henrico County (Submitted on November 22, 2009.) 

2. Gabriel's Conspiracy 1799-1800. PBS – Africans in America (Submitted on November 22, 2009.) 
 
Spring Park Historic Site on Park Street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, November 21, 2009
4. Spring Park Historic Site on Park Street
Upham Brook (Young's Spring) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, November 21, 2009
5. Upham Brook (Young's Spring)
Gabriel Prosser image. Click for full size.
6. Gabriel Prosser
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 22, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,677 times since then and 191 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 22, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   6. submitted on November 22, 2009.

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Sep. 25, 2022