Celia, A Slave, By Melton Mclaurin

Decent Essays
During the 1850s, slavery was a controversial issue that divided the nation into rival factions between the North and the South. Slave owners of this time would dehumanize people of color and claim them as personal property. The book, Celia, A Slave, by Melton McLaurin, follows the life of a fourteen-year-old slave named Celia who was viscously raped for several years by her master, Robert Newsom. After the death of his wife, Newsom searched for a slave that could fulfill his sexual needs although he knew that Missouri was going through several debates regarding the issue of slavery. Celia had feelings for another slave who lived on Newsom’s farm named George and, Celia, and for this reason, killed Newsom in order to stop harassing her for sexual favors. Even though he provided housing for her and her two children, the abuse she had received needed to be acted upon. Due to little documented evidence, it is hard to know the real thoughts and emotions that Celia was going through. With evidence of Celia’s trial, slavery’s paradoxes were categorized by religious, legal and moral reasonings. While discussing the three aspects of slavery’s paradoxes, one reason was that slaveholders during this time used religion as their justification for owning slaves. One example in the book Celia, A Slave, states “Many such slaveholders believed the institution was justified by the laws of man and of God” This is evidence as to how slaveholders turned to the Bible as their reasoning why
Get Access