(c. 1767-1822) American resistance leader. Buying his freedom for $600 in 1800, he became an outspoken and eloquent critic of the institution of slavery. Arrested 1822 on suspicion of fomenting a rebellion among local slaves, he and five other black leaders were hanged despite a lack of evidence against them.
Probably born on the Caribbean island of St Thomas, Vesey was purchased 1781 and taken to Charleston, South Carolina, 1783. He established himself as a carpenter 1800.