Celia, A Slave Essay

1146 words - 5 pages

Jaiden DropickSeptember 29, 2014Top: Modern Slavery"Celia, A Slave" Paper In the late 19th century slavery was a topic of debate across the nation. Missouri, the state where Celia, a slave, resided at the plantation of her owner Robert Newsom, officially became a slave state in 1820 due to the Missouri Compromise. At this time the slaveholding states feared that if they became outnumbered in Congressional representation that they would lack the power to protect their interests in property and trade. As a result, slavery was prevalent in the lives of those in both free and slave states. The slave-owners during this time period were the most powerful members of society. Agency is acting to control the events around you rather than being controlled by an outside source. Slave laws were set up to specifically prevent slave agency, especially in women, yet in 1855 Celia broke through those barriers. After reading Celia, A Slave by Melton A. McLaurin, one can conclude that when a slave asserts agency the resulting effects can cause entire communities, and potentially an entire nation, to reassess the thousand-year-old establishment of slavery and especially it's effects on female slaves.In 1854, Kansas and Nebraska were organized as territories with popular sovereignty (popular vote) to decide the issue of slavery. There was really no debate over the issue in Nebraska, as the territory was filled with settlers from the Midwest, where there was no slavery. In Kansas however, the situation was much different. Although most of the settlers were anti-slave or abolitionists, there were many pro-slave Missourians lurking just over the border who relied upon Kansas's admittance as a slave state. When residents in the territory voted on the issue, many fraudulent votes were cast from Missouri. This triggered the massive violence that earned the area the name "Bleeding Kansas." Kansas remained one of the most important political questions throughout the 1850's. Each side drafted constitutions, but the anti-slave faction eventually gained the upper hand after Celia's trial. Kansas entered the Union as a free state; however, the conflict over slavery in the state continued into the Civil War. The tension between Kansas and Missouri before Kansas was determined free was extremely prevalent during the time that Celia murdered Robert Newsom and was put on trial. Missourians worried that Kansas would enter as a free state and then the slaves in Missouri could easily escape to Kansas due to their close proximity. Additionally, rebellions such as Nat Turner's in Virginia and the slave revolts in Haiti were very concerning to advocates of slavery. Slave owners were concerned that their slaves would feel empowered to escape or rebel once they heard of these uprisings, and many of them did just that.It is unknown whether Celia was one of these slaves who was inspired by the rebellions occurring around her when she committed murder, but all that is known is that her...

Find Another Essay On Celia, A Slave

Moral Dilemmas in Celia, A Slave by Melton McLaurin

1408 words - 6 pages Melton McLaurin’s book Celia, A Slave is the account of the trial, conviction, and execution of a female slave for the murder of her “master” Robert Newsom in 1855. The author uses evidence compiled through studying documents from Callaway County, Missouri and the surrounding area during the middle of the Nineteenth Century. Although much of what can be determine about this event is merely speculation, McLaurin proposes arguments for the

The Trial of a Slave Essay

800 words - 4 pages The trial of a Slave 1850 there was a law that was against rape in the state of Missouri. This particular law prohibited any woman to be taken unlawfully by force against her will, menace or duress, and compel her to be defiled. The state of Missouri had an additional law which permitted women to use any deadly weapon or force to protect herself from rape which justified homicide. Although for Celia this law did not apply to her because she was

Inequality as a Female Slave

1144 words - 5 pages , as a white female. As Melton McLaurin notes in Celia, a Slave, "law was used in an effort to categorize, to divide the society into two components, one slave and black, the other white and free" (McLaurin 111). White supremacy and black inferiority seeped into the laws of the national government as measures like the Three-fifths Compromise and the Dred Scott Decision rejected black women's humanity. Thus, if laws or slaveholders did not view

A Changing View of Slavery

1318 words - 5 pages nineteenth century and the lack of action against these perverse ways. Excellent examples of slave conditions during these two periods in time can be drawn from the two novels, Myne Owne Ground and Celia, a Slave."As the following examination of free blacks in seventeenth-century Northampton County, Virginia, suggests, Englishmen and Africans could interact with one another on terms of relative equality for two generations." (Breen and Innes, 5

The House Of The Scorpion

1593 words - 7 pages Index 1. Summary: 2. Reflection of Book to Project 3. Connections to Other Books and Movies 4. Themes and Symbols 1. Summary: The protagonist, Matt, is a young boy around the age of 6. The setting of the story is in Opium, in the future. Matt lives with his caretaker, Celia, who watches over him as mother-like figure but doesn’t like to be called mother. Celia works daily and leaves Matt to stay at home alone mourning for her

Faith Ringgold’s Bitter Net: African-American Quilting

1993 words - 8 pages , Celia Cleopatra Price, a graduate of Howard University, who graduated first in her class. She is unable to identify with her mother, CeeCee. CeeCee had only finished the 8th grade and dropped out due to her pregnancy with Celia. CeeCee is a very creative individual and makes bags; she is married to”the dentist”, who a young CeeCee meets in the first quilt Love in the School Yard. CeeCee thinks Celia has developed “deafness when she talks” over the

A Concept of Violence

947 words - 4 pages . In these incidents the amount of violence used is great, provoking criminal incidence and victimization. The acts of rape during colonialism to maintain White power obdurate for generations, as well as the fact that there was an absence of laws to prohibit or stop these acts against women slave. White man utilize and categorize women african slaves, when regarded them as a property, in the essay Scenes of Subjection by Saidiya V. Hartman she

Class and Identity Flexibility in Ben Jonson’s Volpone

3254 words - 13 pages audience sees Mosca alone. Furthermore, Mosca has just coordinated Volpone's meeting with Celia by himself, and now Jonson presents him alone on stage. Jonson suggests that Mosca’s increasing independence and Volpone’s constant state of transformation leaves the master role vulnerable; providing Mosca the opportunity to usurp Volpone’s power. Jonson hints toward this danger through Mosca’s line: “I could skip out of my skin now, like a subtle

Robert N. Watson suggests that Volpone exposes ‘the fundamental human tendency […] to live in grandiose egoistical fantasies rather than in the real world’. How far do you agree with the suggestion...

1625 words - 7 pages Volpone's sexual gratification, and when she refuses infidelity, he threatens extremely graphic, twisted acts of violence: 'I will buy some slave, / Whom I will kill, and bind thee to him, alive' (III.vii.100-101). Stage direction makes his cruelty more explicit, as 'he drags her toward the bed.' But such maltreatment also serves to expose Corvino's hypocrisy. In the previous act, he in fact castigates Celia for the complete opposite reason, for being

My Gatherfather´s History and Key Events in American History

3334 words - 14 pages child. My grandfather thought this was different because usually the husband would take care of the family. After Newsom’s wife died he bought a young slave named Celia and even made her, her own cabin so other males wouldn’t be with her. But he didn’t know him for too long because he was killed by Celia, in about 1855, for supposedly raping her; and she was very young, in her teens. It was said that she burned his body all on her own, which is

Shakespeare's View On Love

2017 words - 8 pages literature that has dealt with love. There has been such an idea given that love is a disease that beings suffering and torment of the lover, or the assumption that the male lover is the slave or servant of his mistress. These ideas were looked at and influenced by European literature. As You Like It generally breaks with the courtly love tradition by portraying love as a force for happiness and fulfillment. It also ridicules those who revel

Similar Essays

Celia: A Slave Essay

1117 words - 4 pages a mix of African and European that is master and slave. Much of the American South had become self-conscious and self-reflective in an intensifying manner. The southern culture has always manifested a gradual development of themes and plots of interests. The historical American South has begun to explore their own values and, sometimes, parody their own concerns and approach. 1 The book Celia, A Slave written by Melton A

"Celia: A Slave" By Melton A. Mc Laurin

712 words - 3 pages Celia, A Slave by Melton A. McLaurinIn the book Celia, A Slave by Melton A. McLaurin, the accounts of one woman's life are bound together in a vivid way to relay the circumstances surrounding a female slave's cruel life. The life of this woman named Celia was filled with acts of molestation, rape, murder, and eventual execution. Through the use of court records, correspondences, and newspaper accounts, the author delineated in chronological

Melton A. Mc Laurin's Celia, A Slave

1570 words - 7 pages Celia, A Slave is a novel that narrates a teenage girl from located in the banks of the Missouri river in Calloway County. The story of the young girl defined the significance Gender in this historical discourse of this young slave. The newly settled slave holders in Calloway County in 1850 have included Robert Newsom who was a man of statute in terms of wealth and power. This is manifested in the novel because many slaveholders made their

The Trial Of Celia, A Slave

728 words - 3 pages prosperous life. Among those people there was Newsom and his family. Newsom was a sixty-year-old farmer who came to Missouri to make money and buy slaves. He had many children’s and grandchildren of his own, who he supported and took care of. He was the leader of the household and was responsible for the major decision. After his wife’s death, Newsom bought a fourteen-year-old girl slave named Celia. The very day that Celia arrives, her owner