Citizens of Missouri, this state will allow slavery to continue
Slave States In America: Alabama Virginia Arkansas Texas Delaware Florida Georgia Kentucky Louisiana Maryland Mississippi Missouri North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee
In the year 1850, a Missouri farmer named Robert Newsom purchases a slave named Celia, who was 14 years old. Robert Newsom is a farmer who migrated westward to seek fertile and cheap land. He has a large family, with many sons and daughters. Two of them, Virginia and Mary, still live with him. Robert purchases Celia because his wife has passed, and he wants a partner to have relations with. That same night that Robert buys Celia, he rapes her and this continues for years. Celia is utterly helpless to defend herself against Robert because she has no legal rights to refuse him.
At the same time that Robert purchases Celia, there is a debate about the abolition movement and if slavery should continue throughout America. After Congress held a debate, the territory of Missouri is admitted to the Union as a slave state. This is a major victory to pro-slavery politicians, because it sets a precedent for adding new slave states to the Union, and requires the federal government to recognize the institution of slavery.
Celia has a romantic relationship with another slave, who is also owned by Robert Newsom, named George. George becomes furious when he realizes that Celia and Newsom are having an “affair” with each other. The situation finally becomes perilous in 1855, when Celia discovers that she’s pregnant, with either Robert’s child or George’s. Furious, and too frightened to confront Newsom himself, George gives Celia an ultimatum, which is to either break off the “affair” with Robert, or he’ll never speak to her again.
On the night of June 23, 1855, Robert Newsom sneaks out of his bedroom and enters Celia’s cabin. There, Celia warns Robert to stay away from her. When Robert ignores her, she strikes him with a heavy stick. As he staggers back, she strikes him again, killing him. Celia is frightened because she knows that she’ll probably be hanged for killing her owner. She decides to hide the body by burning it in the fireplace. By dawn, she’s successfully burned Newsom’s body to ashes. However, after being questioned by Roberts neighbor, William Powell, who lead the search party for Robert, she was charged with the murder of Robert Newsom.
Judge William Augustus Hall appoints a man named John Jameson to defend Celia in the trial. Jameson plans to argue that Celia had the legal right to defend herself against rape from her master. He cites a statute in Missouri law that gives women the right to use deadly force to defend their “honor.” By stating this statue it makes his argument required to convince a judge that the law applies to slaves, who are legally considered property, not people.
It was self defense
I'm sorry. I told him not to but he refused and I had to protect myself
She is property and killed an innocent man
At the end of the trial Celia is found guilty and sentenced to death, by hanging. Later in the month, just days before her execution, Celia is freed from jail however, she’s returned to the jail shortly after the day of her execution passed. She’s was then sentenced to be executed in December. Celia was hanged and her life is known as a testament to the tragedies of slavery and those who often had to endure sexual assault from their owners.