Essay about Celia, A Slave

3319 WordsAug 29, 201414 Pages
Celia, a Slave In the summer of 1855, a slave named Celia committed a crime that would test the laws and precedents placed on slaves in Missouri during this time period. Celia was only fourteen when purchased by a slave owner, Robert Newsom in 1850. Five years after being purchased, she murdered her owner in self-defense because he tried to rape her. Throughout the 1800’s, slaves had few rights, if any at all. Celia, A Slave brings up many questions about these rights because of the controversy surrounding a black woman and her white owner. Many of these questions were also sparked because of the brutal crime Celia committed. One of the many questions brought up while reading this book was the relationship between Celia and her…show more content…
This is proof that this terrible act was very typical within slaveholding societies. Now, just because this relationship seems usual in the south, it does not mean everyone condoned it. The wives of many slave owners proved they were not okay with a white male and a black female relationship by the way they acted with “anger and resentment” towards other slaves (McLaurin, 26). Wives chose to ignore this behavior simply because if they didn’t, not only would their lives be in danger, but so would their children’s. As for the matter of sex, whether it was between a man and his wife or a man and his slave, this was never discussed in the southern society either, even though it was quite typical. The reason this type of relationship was never discussed in public was because this “practice was never condoned by public opinion” (McLaurin, 25). Everyone knew this type of relationship happened, but no one wanted to bring it up and talk about it. It was like there was an unspoken rule about how you don’t talk about the sexual relations between two people, especially when those two people are a master and his slave. A sexual relationship between master and slave was typical in U.S. slave holding society, but sometimes this type of relationship lead to certain complications. One complication that came from a sexual relationship between a master and a slave would be if the slave

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