As the American Civil War continues panic of slave rebellions spreads throughout the South. With thousands of enslaved peoples deserting plantations to claim their freedom, slaveholders could no longer convince themselves of the benevolence of slavery. Many slaveholders became nervous that the presence of the Union blockade along the Gulf Coast would inspire a slave rebellion reminiscent of Nat Turners, or worse, the Haitian Revolution. As battles spread from Missouri to Virginia, white paranoia of slave resistance rises in the lower Mississippi River Valley.
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