Long ago at Cobb I set a benchmark of seriousness on racial and other political issues to One Lynch Factor, which to my reckoning was 3000 deaths over 3 generations. If some people didn't suffer on that level or greater I feel free to mock their suffering. For the most part I honor that line, but I've been known to take some trivialties more serious than the Lynch filter would suggest.
I bring up this razor over the big blatherfest sparked off by, of all things, a bake sale at Cal Berkeley, affirmative action and the history of the oppression of the Negro. And in putting that matter in perspective, I am reminded of Marcus Garvey and other roughnecks who have had as their reputation, of giving no quarter to Whitey. In the end, as we all know, there was the Civil War, which from John Brown's most moral agitation almost got no proper subscribers. After which there was nothing else.
Before of course, what we celebrate was the great courage of those who ran the Underground Railroad, including John Brown, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and others less well known to me. And there was that matter of Nat Turner. But a little Googling shows us something called the Black Seminole Slave Revolt.
Below are the major American slave rebellions listed in chronological order.
Year Rebellion Black Participants White deaths End result for the rebels 1712 New York City conspiracy 30-40 9 21 executed, 6 estimated suicides, 6 pardoned 1739 Stono rebellion 75-80 25 Estimated 50 killed & executed in suppression 1800 Gabriel Prosser's conspiracy 40 0 35 executed, 4 escaped, 1 suicide 1811 Louisiana revolt 180-500 2 66 killed in battle, 16 executed, 17 escaped or dead 1822 Denmark Vesey's conspiracy 49 0 49 condemned: 12 pardoned, 37 hanged 1831 Nat Turner's rebellion 70 57 20 conspirators executed including Turner, 100 or more blacks killed in mass reprisals 1835-38 Black Seminole rebellion, maroon & slave combined 935-1265 400 500 emigrated west with Indians, 90 or more caught & re-enslaved, hundreds more surrendered to slavery, casualties unknown. 1835-38 Black Seminole rebellion, plantation slave only 385-465 N/A 90 or more caught & re-enslaved, hundreds surrendered and returned to slavery, uncertain number emigrated west with Black Seminoles.
At least three of these are often mentioned as the largest or most significant in U.S. history: Nat Turner's rebellion, Denmark Vesey's conspiracy, and the Louisiana slave revolt of 1811.
Now I'd say that about 1000 blacks tanning the hides of 400 whites over the course of three years is a fair amount of skirmishing. That there's a good piece of low intensity warfare. Unfortunately for the good guys (as we presume) the KKK and their unofficial affiliates more than made up for that in 1865-69 to the tune of about 1200.
So here's my little bit of speculation. Could it be argued that, aside from the huge disadvantage slaves would have against paddyrollers, bounty hunters and various armed militias even before the days of the Fugitive Slave Act, were the various Indian Wars sufficient to cow would be black rebels into submission?
I'm going to say yes.