Melton A. McLaurin?s book Celia, A Slave
Answer only questions on read .. 5 queations
Preliminary questions (you don’t have to write answers to these first 4 questions, they’re just to
help you think about the book before you write your paper):?A.) When and where do the events in the book take place? To what events in U.S. history are the
events in the book most related?
B.) Celia was a slave and a woman. What relationships did she have to other people in the book?
C.) On page xii,??McLaurin says that Celia’s life cannot give readers a complete understanding of an institution such as slavery. What doesn’t Celia’s life tell us about slavery? How could we gain a more complete understanding of the institution of slavery in the United States in the United States in the early 19th century? (Keep in mind that in 1855, Celia is one slave out of about 3.6 million slaves in the United States, one of 100,000 slaves in Missouri, and that there were slaves in 15 different states.)
D.) On page xiii, McLaurin observes that “personal decisions about the morality of slavery were never made in a social and political vacuum.” How does this comment relate to McLaurin’s comments at the end of page 9/top of page 10 about Robert Newsom’s morality?:
He had grown to adulthood in the slaveholding society of Virginia, where slave ownership had long been a mark of social position. The laws of the land condoned the practice, and those of his adopted state encouraged it. Many of his fellow Missourians…held slaves. Many such slaveholders believed the institution was justified by the laws of man and of God. While it is possible that Newsom harbored some moral ambiguity about slave ownership, it is far more likely that he regarded it as a fitting reward for his years of labor, and indication of the social status he had achieved through his own efforts.
Read the Melton A. McLaurin’s book Celia, A Slave: A True Story. When you have finished reading the book, write answers to the 5 questions below.?(You may find it helpful to quote short passages from the book. When you do, be sure to indicate the page number on which you found the quote.)
1) What was Celia’s dilemma as a woman/sexual partner/romantic partner?(see pages 30–31) 2) How did Celia demonstrate her self-esteem in her relationships to Robert Newsom and the
slave George? (see pages 31–35)
3) What did Celia have in common with Robert Newsom’s daughters Virginia Waynescot and Mary Newsom?(Think about their relationship and dependence on Newsom and the fact that they’re women.)
questions continued on reverse ?
??page numbers refer to the Avon trade paperback edition of the book
4) Why did Celia go on trial? It would not have been surprising if Celia had been declared guilty by a judge and executed without a trial. Consider these factors:
How the community felt about the morality of slavery (see the last sentence on page 103). How could Celia be “morally innocent of murder”?
Celia couldn’t testify at her own trial. (page 106)?Could a slave master trespass on his own property? (page 111)?How an innocent verdict would have struck a “devastating blow to the authority of
slaveowners” (page 113) and set a controversial legal precedent (pages 119–120)
5) What were abolitionists for/against? (Look in the Henretta textbook for information andbriefly summarize it.) How could Celia’s trial have contributed to their cause?
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