Celia a Slave

Illuminating the moral dilemmas that lie at the heart of a slaveholding society, this book tells the story of a young slave who was sexually exploited by her master and ultimately executed for his murder.

Celia  a Slave

Celia a Slave

Illuminating the moral dilemmas that lie at the heart of a slaveholding society, this book tells the story of a young slave who was sexually exploited by her master and ultimately executed for his murder. Celia was only fourteen years old when she was acquired by John Newsom, an aging widower and one of the most prosperous and respected citizens of Callaway County, Missouri. The pattern of sexual abuse that would mark their entire relationship began almost immediately. After purchasing Celia in a neighboring county, Newsom raped her on the journey back to his farm. He then established her in a small cabin near his house and visited her regularly (most likely with the knowledge of the son and two daughters who lived with him). Over the next five years, Celia bore Newsom two children; meanwhile, she became involved with a slave named George and resolved at his insistence to end the relationship with her master. When Newsom refused, Celia one night struck him fatally with a club and disposed of his body in her fireplace. Her act quickly discovered, Celia was brought to trial. She received a surprisingly vigorous defense from her court-appointed attorneys, who built their case on a state law allowing women the use of deadly force to defend their honor. Nevertheless, the court upheld the tenets of a white social order that wielded almost total control over the lives of slaves. Celia was found guilty and hanged. Melton A. McLaurin uses Celia's story to reveal the tensions that strained the fabric of antebellum southern society. Celia's case demonstrates how one master's abuse of power over a single slave forced whites to make moral decisions about the nature of slavery. McLaurin focuses sharply on the role of gender, exploring the degree to which female slaves were sexually exploited, the conditions that often prevented white women from stopping such abuse, and the inability of male slaves to defend slave women. Setting the case in the context of the 1850s slavery debates, he also probes the manner in which the legal system was used to justify slavery. By granting slaves certain statutory rights (which were usually rendered meaningless by the customary prerogatives of masters), southerners could argue that they observed moral restraint in the operations of their peculiar institution. An important addition to our understanding of the pre-Civil War era, Celia, A Slave is also an intensely compelling narrative of one woman pushed beyond the limits of her endurance by a system that denied her humanity at the most basic level.

More Books:

Celia, a Slave
Language: en
Pages: 160
Authors: Melton A. McLaurin
Categories: Biography & Autobiography
Type: BOOK - Published: 2011-03-15 - Publisher: University of Georgia Press

Illuminating the moral dilemmas that lie at the heart of a slaveholding society, this book tells the story of a young slave who was sexually exploited by her master and ultimately executed for his murder. Celia was only fourteen years old when she was acquired by John Newsom, an aging
Celia, a Slave
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: Melton Alonza McLaurin
Categories: Law
Type: BOOK - Published: 1999-01-01 - Publisher: Turtleback

Follows a landmark moment in American slavery as culled from court records, correspondence, and newspaper accounts that recorded the trial and execution of Celia, who killed her master in self-defense after five years of physical and sexual abuse
Celia, a Slave
Language: en
Pages: 94
Authors: Barbara Seyda
Categories: Drama
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-01-01 - Publisher: Yale University Press

The ninth winner of the Yale Drama Series is a searing and powerful drama of slave litigation, injustice, institutional racism, and the rule of law. The winner of the 2015 Yale Drama Series playwriting competition was selected by Nicholas Wright, former Associate Director of London's Royal Court. Barbara Seyda's stunningly
Gateway Heritage
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: Barbara Seyda
Categories: Missouri
Type: BOOK - Published: 1997 - Publisher:

Books about Gateway Heritage
Gender and Law
Language: en
Pages: 1185
Authors: Katharine T. Bartlett, Angela P. Harris
Categories: Feminist jurisprudence
Type: BOOK - Published: 1998 - Publisher: Aspen Publishers

This extremely coherent and balanced presentation supplies a deeper, more solid intellectual framework for analyzing and questioning legal doctrines and policies as they pertain to sexual discrimination. Special features include: emphasizing alternative, often competing, perspectives, Bartlett and Harris organize their book around the major theoretical models for conceptualizing the relationship

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