Being Alone, Children, and Crime: THE "CRIME" OF CELIA
 Celia was a slave who
 killed her master while
 resisting a sexual
 assault.
 Missouri state law
 deemed "any woman"
 in such circumstances
 to be acting in self-
 defense.
 But, the Court ruled
 that Celia was not a
 Woman.
State of Missouri v. Celia, a Slave: 1855 Defendant: Celia, a Slave Charge: Murder Chief Defense Lawyers: Isaac M. Boulware, John Jameson, and Nathan Chapman Kouns Chief Prosecutor: Robert Prewitt Judge: William Hall Place: Calloway County, Missouri Dates of Trial: October 9-10, 1855 Verdict: Guilty Sentence: Hanging SIGNIFICANCE: This case graphically illustrates that enslaved women had no legal recourse when raped by their masters.Although the second article of Section 29 of the Missouri statutes of 1845 forbade anyone "to take any woman unlawfully against her will and by force, menace or duress, compel her to be defiled," Judge William Hall refused to instruct the jury that the enslaved Celia fell within the meaning of "any woman"—giving the jury no latitude to consider Celia's murder of her sexually abusive master a justifiable act of self-defense. In 1850, the recently widowed Robert Newsom purchased the 14-year-old Celia, ostensibly to help his daughters with the housework. En route from Audrain County, the site of the transaction, to his own home in neighboring Calloway County, Missouri, Newsom raped the young girl.Back at his farm, Newsom ensconced her in a small cabin 150 feet from his home. Between 1850 and 1855, Celia bore two of Newsom's children, both of whom became her master's property.She also began a relationship with a fellow slave named George.When she became pregnant in 1855, she was unsure which of the men was the father. At that point,George told Celia that "he would have nothing more to do with her if she did not quit the old man." Celia first asked Newsom's daughters to intercede.She told Mary (19 years old, as was Celia in 1855) and Virginia (36 and returned to her father's home with her own three children) that her pregnancy was making her feel unwell and that she wished Robert Newsom to respect her condition and leave her alone.That afternoon, Celia brought a heavy stick, "about as large as the upper part of a Windsor chair, but not so long," into her cabin.When Newsom arrived and refused to back off,she killed him with two blows to the head. Source:Brownmiller,Susan. Against Our Will.Men, women,& Rape.New York: Simon & Schuster,1975.

State of Missouri v. Celia, a Slave: 1855 Defendant: Celia, a Slave Charge: Murder Chief Defense Lawyers: Isaac M. Boulware, John Jameson, and Nathan Chapman Kouns Chief Prosecutor: Robert Prewitt Judge: William Hall Place: Calloway County, Missouri Dates of Trial: October 9-10, 1855 Verdict: Guilty Sentence: Hanging SIGNIFICANCE: This case graphically illustrates that enslaved women had no legal recourse when raped by their masters.Although the second article of Section 29 of the Missouri statutes of 1845 forbade anyone "to take any woman unlawfully against her will and by force, menace or duress, compel her to be defiled," Judge William Hall refused to instruct the jury that the enslaved Celia fell within the meaning of "any woman"—giving the jury no latitude to consider Celia's murder of her sexually abusive master a justifiable act of self-defense. In 1850, the recently widowed Robert Newsom purchased the 14-year-old Celia, ostensibly to help his daughters with the housework. En route from Audrain County, the site of the transaction, to his own home in neighboring Calloway County, Missouri, Newsom raped the young girl.Back at his farm, Newsom ensconced her in a small cabin 150 feet from his home. Between 1850 and 1855, Celia bore two of Newsom's children, both of whom became her master's property.She also began a relationship with a fellow slave named George.When she became pregnant in 1855, she was unsure which of the men was the father. At that point,George told Celia that "he would have nothing more to do with her if she did not quit the old man." Celia first asked Newsom's daughters to intercede.She told Mary (19 years old, as was Celia in 1855) and Virginia (36 and returned to her father's home with her own three children) that her pregnancy was making her feel unwell and that she wished Robert Newsom to respect her condition and leave her alone.That afternoon, Celia brought a heavy stick, "about as large as the upper part of a Windsor chair, but not so long," into her cabin.When Newsom arrived and refused to back off,she killed him with two blows to the head. Source:Brownmiller,Susan. Against Our Will.Men, women,& Rape.New York: Simon & Schuster,1975.

THE CRIME OF CELIA Celia was a slave who killed her master while resisting a sexual assault Missouri state law deemed any woman in such circumstances to be acting in self- defense But the Court ruled that Celia was not a Woman State of Missouri v Celia a Slave 1855 Defendant Celia a Slave Charge Murder Chief Defense Lawyers Isaac M Boulware John Jameson and Nathan Chapman Kouns Chief Prosecutor Robert Prewitt Judge William Hall Place Calloway County Missouri Dates of Trial October 9-10 1855 Verdict Guilty Sentence Hanging SIGNIFICANCE This case graphically illustrates that enslaved women had no legal recourse when raped by their mastersAlthough the second article of Section 29 of the Missouri statutes of 1845 forbade anyone to take any woman unlawfully against her will and by force menace or duress compel her to be defiled Judge William Hall refused to instruct the jury that the enslaved Celia fell within the meaning of any woman—giving the jury no latitude to consider Celia's murder of her sexually abusive master a justifiable act of self-defense In 1850 the recently widowed Robert Newsom purchased the 14-year-old Celia ostensibly to help his daughters with the housework En route from Audrain County the site of the transaction to his own home in neighboring Calloway County Missouri Newsom raped the young girlBack at his farm Newsom ensconced her in a small cabin 150 feet from his home Between 1850 and 1855 Celia bore two of Newsom's children both of whom became her master's propertyShe also began a relationship with a fellow slave named GeorgeWhen she became pregnant in 1855 she was unsure which of the men was the father At that pointGeorge told Celia that he would have nothing more to do with her if she did not quit the old man Celia first asked Newsom's daughters to intercedeShe told Mary 19 years old as was Celia in 1855 and Virginia 36 and returned to her father's home with her own three children that her pregnancy was making her feel unwell and that she wished Robert Newsom to respect her condition and leave her aloneThat afternoon Celia brought a heavy stick about as large as the upper part of a Windsor chair but not so long into her cabinWhen Newsom arrived and refused to back offshe killed him with two blows to the head SourceBrownmillerSusan Against Our WillMen women& RapeNew York Simon & Schuster1975 Meme

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