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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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Genre : Biography & Autobiography
Author : Melton A. McLaurin
Publisher : University of Georgia Press
Release : 2011-03-15
File : 160 Pages
ISBN-13 : 0820341592

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Recounts the story of Celia, a slave in antebellum Missouri who killed her master after five years of sexual abuse at his hands and was later found guilty of murder and hanged

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Genre : Social Science
Author : Melton Alonza McLaurin
Publisher : University of Georgia Press
Release : 1991
File : 148 Pages
ISBN-13 : 0820313521

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In 1850, fourteen-year-old Celia became the property of Robert Newsom, a prosperous and respected Missouri farmer. For the next five years, she was cruelly and repeatedly molested by her abusive master--and bore him two children in the process. But in 1855, driven to the limits of her endurance, Celia fought back. And at the tender age of eighteen, the desperate and frightened young black woman found herself on trial for Newsom's murder--the defendant in a landmark courtroom battle that threatened to undermine the very foundations of the South's most cherished institution. Based on court records, correspondences and newspaper accounts past and present, Celia, A Slave is a powerful masterwork of passion and scholarship--a stunning literary achievement that brilliantly illuminates one of the most extraordinary events in the long, dark history of slavery in America.

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Genre : Social Science
Author : Melton A. Mclaurin
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 1993-02-01
File : 192 Pages
ISBN-13 : 9780380719358

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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

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Genre : Law
Author : Melton Alonza McLaurin
Publisher : Turtleback
Release : 1999-01-01
File : Pages
ISBN-13 : 0606160868

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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 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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Genre : Drama
Author : Barbara Seyda
Publisher : Yale University Press
Release : 2016-01-01
File : 94 Pages
ISBN-13 : 9780300197068

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Celia was an ordinary slave--until she struck back at her abusive master and became the defendant in a landmark trial that threatened to undermine the very foundations of the South's "Peculiar Institution."

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Genre : Social Science
Author : Melton A. Mclaurin
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 1999-02-01
File : 192 Pages
ISBN-13 : 0380803364

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Forcibly removed from their homes in the late 1830s, Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Indians brought their African-descended slaves with them along the Trail of Tears and resettled in Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. Celia E. Naylor vividly charts the experiences of enslaved and free African Cherokees from the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma's entry into the Union in 1907. Carefully extracting the voices of former slaves from interviews and mining a range of sources in Oklahoma, she creates an engaging narrative of the composite lives of African Cherokees. Naylor explores how slaves connected with Indian communities not only through Indian customs--language, clothing, and food--but also through bonds of kinship. Examining this intricate and emotionally charged history, Naylor demonstrates that the "red over black" relationship was no more benign than "white over black." She presents new angles to traditional understandings of slave resistance and counters previous romanticized ideas of slavery in the Cherokee Nation. She also challenges contemporary racial and cultural conceptions of African-descended people in the United States. Naylor reveals how black Cherokee identities evolved reflecting complex notions about race, culture, "blood," kinship, and nationality. Indeed, Cherokee freedpeople's struggle for recognition and equal rights that began in the nineteenth century continues even today in Oklahoma.

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Genre : Social Science
Author : Celia E. Naylor
Publisher : Univ of North Carolina Press
Release : 2009-09-15
File : 376 Pages
ISBN-13 : 0807877549

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When two young women meet under extraordinary circumstances in the eighteenth-century West Indies, they are unified in their desire to escape their oppressive lives. The first is a slave, forced to work in a plantation mansion and subjected to terrible cruelty at the hands of the plantation manager. The second is a spirited and rebellious English girl, sent to the West Indies to marry well and combine the wealth of two respectable families. But fate ensures that one night the two young women have to save each other and run away to a life no less dangerous but certainly a lot more free. As pirates, they roam the seas, fight pitched battles against their foes and become embroiled in many a heart-quickening adventure. Written in brilliant and sparkling first-person narrative, this is a wonderful novel in which Celia Rees has brought the past vividly and intimately to life.

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Genre : Juvenile Fiction
Author : Celia Rees
Publisher : A&C Black
Release : 2010-05-03
File : 384 Pages
ISBN-13 : 9781408810354

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The preservation of history and slavery in the United States has its legacy connected to the Civil War and the 13th Amendment. This is the same legacy that created great American Literature and gave rise to Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) as an acclaimed writer of Huckleberry Finn and his main characters, Tom Sawyer and companion, Jim. The Legacy of Celia Adams continues to reveal this deeply preserved and long tradition of contemporary discussions. The book reveals the conditions in which Celia Adams, a remarkable Freedom Dweller of her era, endured. It identifies relatives from her lineage and shares stories as told to them from the voice of Celia Adams. Celia Adams was born before the Civil War, March 12, 1856 until her death on March 21, 1943, during World War II. She had the vantage of living forty-four years in the 1800s and another forty-three years in the 1900s. The Legacy of Celia Adams provides the verisimilitude to assess the conditions of her life under the institution of slavery, the lynching of her husband, and through slavery’s generational impact on her off-springs. The majority of the eleven children of Celia Adams lived through the 1960s with the last child living in the 1980s. This book shares many of these rich stories of her legacy as told by her children and grandchildren. The author’s grandfather was one of her eleven children. The writer interviewed many of these relatives. In addition, he heard numerous porch stories from his grandfather who moved from Gough, Georgia to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to escape the unyielding conditions and the lingering effects of slavery. This book allows the audience to read and glean many of the family secrets and preserved stories from slavery to freedom. This book is historic because it reveals the generations and names of the off-springs of Celia Adams, and the story of an almost forgotten legacy of one of this nation’s freedom fighters of the 1800s. It is timely because it allows the public an opportunity to reflect on the conditions that gave rise to the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The 13th Amendment provides the nation with cause to reflect on the 150 year jubilee. The abolition of slavery from 1865–2015 is the Sesquicentennial of the 13th Amendment Jubilee. As Celia Adams said to her children, “It was some Jubilee!”

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Genre : Biography & Autobiography
Author : Dr. Jesse J. Hargrove
Publisher : AuthorHouse
Release : 2014-11-04
File : 130 Pages
ISBN-13 : 9781496949875

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Finding Charity’s Folk highlights the experiences of enslaved Maryland women who negotiated for their own freedom, many of whom have been largely lost to historical records. Based on more than fifteen hundred manumission records and numerous manuscript documents from a diversity of archives, Jessica Millward skillfully brings together African American social and gender history to provide a new means of using biography as a historical genre. Millward opens with a striking discussion about how researching the life of a single enslaved woman, Charity Folks, transforms our understanding of slavery and freedom in Revolutionary America. For African American women such as Folks, freedom, like enslavement, was tied to a bondwoman’s reproductive capacities. Their offspring were used to perpetuate the slave economy. Finding loopholes in the law meant that enslaved women could give birth to and raise free children. For Millward, Folks demonstrates the fluidity of the boundaries between slavery and freedom, which was due largely to the gendered space occupied by enslaved women. The gendering of freedom influenced notions of liberty, equality, and race in what became the new nation and had profound implications for African American women’s future interactions with the state.

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Genre : History
Author : Jessica Millward
Publisher : University of Georgia Press
Release : 2015-12-15
File : 152 Pages
ISBN-13 : 9780820348797

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