Celia, a Slave

Author: Melton Alonza McLaurin

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

ISBN: 0820341592

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 160

View: 5711

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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.
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Celia, a Slave

Author: Barbara Seyda

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300224591

Category: Drama

Page: 112

View: 9144

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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 theatrical Celia, a Slave is a vivid tableau of interviews with the dead that interweaves oral histories with official archival records. Powerful, poetic, and stylistically bold, this work foregrounds twenty-three diverse characters to recall the events that led to the hanging of nineteen-year-old Celia, an African American slave convicted in a Missouri court of murdering her master, the prosperous landowner Robert Newsom, in 1855. Excavating actual trial transcripts and court records, Seyda bears witness to racial and sexual violence in U.S. history, illuminating the brutal realities of female slave life in the pre–Civil War South while exploring the intersection of rape, morality, economics, and gender politics that continue to resonate today.
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Celia, a Slave

Author: Melton A. McLaurin

Publisher: NY Books

ISBN: N.A

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 5970

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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...
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Trials of the Century

An Encyclopedia of Popular Culture and the Law

Author: Scott Patrick Johnson

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 1598842617

Category: History

Page: 800

View: 1918

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Presents reference entries for the most significant and well-known trials of American history, from pre-Revolutionary times up to the present day and the influence they have had on popular culture.
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Race on Trial

Law and Justice in American History

Author: Annette Gordon-Reed

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198028666

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 1765

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This book of twelve original essays will bring together two themes of American culture: law and race. The essays fall into four groups: cases that are essential to the history of race in America; cases that illustrate the treatment of race in American history; cases of great fame that became the trials of the century of their time; and cases that made important law. Some of the cases discussed include Amistad, Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, Scottsboro, Korematsu v. US, Brown v. Board, Loving v. Virginia, Regents v. Bakke, and OJ Simpson. All illustrate how race often determined the outcome of trials, and how trials that confront issues of racism provide a unique lens on American cultural history. Cases include African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Caucasians. Contributors include a mix of junior and senior scholars in law schools and history departments.
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Unveiling the Harem

Elite Women and the Paradox of Seclusion in Eighteenth-Century Cairo

Author: Mary Ann Fay

Publisher: Syracuse University Press

ISBN: 0815651708

Category: History

Page: 331

View: 8871

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A history of elite women who were concubines and wives of powerful slave-soldiers, known as Mamluks, who dominated Egypt both politically and militarily in the eighteenth century.
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Enslaved Women in America: An Encyclopedia

An Encyclopedia

Author: Daina Ramey Berry Ph.D.,Deleso A. Alford

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 0313349096

Category: Social Science

Page: 381

View: 6382

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This singular reference provides an authoritative account of the daily lives of enslaved women in the United States, from colonial times to emancipation following the Civil War. Through essays, photos, and primary source documents, the female experience is explored, and women are depicted as central, rather than marginal, figures in history. • Dozens of photos of former enslaved women • Detailed historical timeline • Numerous rare primary documents, including runaway slave advertisements and even a plantation recipe for turtle soup • Profiles of noted female slaves and their works
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Rebels in Law

Voices in History of Black Women Lawyers

Author: John Clay Smith

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 9780472086467

Category: History

Page: 323

View: 9058

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The reflections on their lives in law of pioneer black women lawyers
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Black Slaves, Indian Masters

Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South

Author: Barbara Krauthamer

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469607115

Category: Social Science

Page: 232

View: 4737

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From the late eighteenth century through the end of the Civil War, Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians bought, sold, and owned Africans and African Americans as slaves, a fact that persisted after the tribes' removal from the Deep South to Indian Territory. The tribes formulated racial and gender ideologies that justified this practice and marginalized free black people in the Indian nations well after the Civil War and slavery had ended. Through the end of the nineteenth century, ongoing conflicts among Choctaw, Chickasaw, and U.S. lawmakers left untold numbers of former slaves and their descendants in the two Indian nations without citizenship in either the Indian nations or the United States. In this groundbreaking study, Barbara Krauthamer rewrites the history of southern slavery, emancipation, race, and citizenship to reveal the centrality of Native American slaveholders and the black people they enslaved. Krauthamer's examination of slavery and emancipation highlights the ways Indian women's gender roles changed with the arrival of slavery and changed again after emancipation and reveals complex dynamics of race that shaped the lives of black people and Indians both before and after removal.
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Fateful Lightning

A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction

Author: Allen C. Guelzo

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199939365

Category: History

Page: 592

View: 8937

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The Civil War is the greatest trauma ever experienced by the American nation, a four-year paroxysm of violence that left in its wake more than 600,000 dead, more than 2 million refugees, and the destruction (in modern dollars) of more than $700 billion in property. The war also sparked some of the most heroic moments in American history and enshrined a galaxy of American heroes. Above all, it permanently ended the practice of slavery and proved, in an age of resurgent monarchies, that a liberal democracy could survive the most frightful of challenges. In Fateful Lightning, two-time Lincoln Prize-winning historian Allen C. Guelzo offers a marvelous portrait of the Civil War and its era, covering not only the major figures and epic battles, but also politics, religion, gender, race, diplomacy, and technology. And unlike other surveys of the Civil War era, it extends the reader's vista to include the postwar Reconstruction period and discusses the modern-day legacy of the Civil War in American literature and popular culture. Guelzo also puts the conflict in a global perspective, underscoring Americans' acute sense of the vulnerability of their republic in a world of monarchies. He examines the strategy, the tactics, and especially the logistics of the Civil War and brings the most recent historical thinking to bear on emancipation, the presidency and the war powers, the blockade and international law, and the role of intellectuals, North and South. Written by a leading authority on our nation's most searing crisis, Fateful Lightning offers a vivid and original account of an event whose echoes continue with Americans to this day.
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