Based on an anonymous letter found in Virginia in 1802, the author traces the rumors and fantasies of the often evoked and feared slave conspiracies in the US-American South. The fears materialized and manifested themselves in the object-like, tactile and readable anonymous letter. From vague fears followed concrete plans, with often drastic consequences. On the one hand, the author demonstrates that only the letter in its concrete material manifestation and attestation of human plans and emotions and its distribution, circulation or transcription, brings the scenario of slave insurrections to life. On the other hand, he reads the letter and reactions to it as a “transnational echo” on the background of a cross-border knowledge community formed by the events of the French and Haitian revolution.