On July 13, 1849, a slave named Nicholas Kelly and two accomplices armed with sledge hammers and pick axes led an attack on the police and their jailers at the Charleston slave workhouse. The three men helped thirty-two of their fellow slaves escape the workhouse and into the streets of Charleston. Nicholas’s astonishing attempt to escape was a singular event: it was the largest workhouse slave rebellion in United States history. The ramifications of the breakout were felt far and wide. Nicholas's daring bid for freedom was the most important slave rebellion to occur in South Carolina since the attempted Denmark Vesey Insurrection of 1822.