After Nat Turner's rebellion, Virginia state legislator Henry Berry publicly expressed a desire to mentally incapacitate Black people, in an effort to prevent future slave rebellions.
"Pass as severe laws as you will to keep these unfortunate creatures in ignorance. It is in vain unless you can extinguish that spark of intellect which God has given them. ... Sir, we have as far as possible closed every avenue by which light may enter their minds. We only have to go one step further to extinguish their capacity to see the light and our work will be completed. And they would then be reduced to the level of the beasts of the field and we should be safe."
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