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Celia-Murderer or Martyr? A Slave Fights Back

A Slave Cabin


Discretion Advised-Graphic Subject Matter

Fulton Township, Calloway County, Missouri in 1855 was forefront in the political and moral debate concerning slavery. A young woman named Celia became an unwitting player in this debate.

There is no known history for Celia prior to 1855 when she was purchased by Robert Newsom. His wife had died the previous year and he ostensibly bought the fourteen year old Celia in neighboring Audrain County, ostensibly as a domestic help for his daughters who lived in his household. However, it soon became apparent that Robert Newsom had ulterior motives.

On the way home from purchasing Celia, Robert Newsom raped the fourteen year old girl. This was undoubtedly her first sexual experience. As a young girl and a slave, Celia had no recourse and once ensconced on Newsom’s property, the sexual abuse continued.

From court testimony, it seems Celia worked as a cook as well as having other duties. She worked all day for the Newsom family and at night Robert Newsom would make the short trek to the house where Celia lived. He made her convenient for his pleasure and put her in a small cabin about sixty feet behind the “big house.” He made countless, probably hundreds of trips to her cabin to use her for his sexual gratification.

As the years passed, Celia became pregnant twice and had two children by Robert Newsom. They also became his property and he never acknowledged them as his children. Arrangements like this were quite common in those days. They were never spoken of and any offspring were not considered children but chattel to add to the master’s wealth.

Approximately five years into this horrific tale, Celia began a relationship with one of Robert Newsom’s five male slaves. His name was George and little is known about him other than he lived at the Newsom homestead before Celia was brought there. Celia fell in love with George and he would visit her in the cabin and they began a sexual affair. Robert Newsom was still raping Celia on a regular basis and was not aware that Celia was intimate with George.

Celia became pregnant again in February 1855 and did not know which man fathered the child. George demanded Celia do something about Robert Newsom’s unwelcome attentions. He said he would not have anything to do with her as long as she was having sex with Newsom. I must interject here that his demands were unrealistic. As a slave, Celia had no say in the matter. She was caught in a no win situation but was determined to try.

This pregnancy had been a difficult one (probably due to stress) and Celia was sick a lot. She went to Robert Newsom’s daughters and begged them to help her. She told them she was going to hurt the “old man” if he didn’t leave her alone while she was ill. Newsom was in his sixties at this time.

Virginia Waynescot was twenty four, widowed, and a mother herself. The other daughter, Mary, was Celia’s age. It is certain that the daughters were aware of their father’s relationship with Celia. The property was small and certainly Celia’s pregnancies were obvious. Court records do not note if the women actually spoke too their father about the matter. They most likely did not. They would have been contingent upon their father’s goodwill since they were living in his home themselves.

At any rate, Robert Newsom did not stop his sexual exploitation of Celia. On June 23, 1855, Celia directly confronted Newsom and asked him to leave her alone. He arrogantly told her that he would come to her cabin that night and she would be required to have sex with him. She told Newsom that she would hurt him if he came to her again. But he did show up at her door that night about two hours after dark and never left alive.

Celia’s two children were there in the one room cabin but would have probably been asleep at the time. Celia had prepared to protect herself and had set a stick in a corner. It was later described as being similar to a Windsor chair leg, but not as long. When Celia heard Newsom approaching, she put more wood on the fire to create more light in the dark cabin.

Robert Newsom entered the cabin and drew close to Celia. He was speaking to her and leaned over her. Celia struck him with the stick. She later said that he never lifted hand to protect himself but sank down on a stool then threw up his hands. Celia thought Newsom was trying to hit her so she swung the stick again. Both blows hit him in the face. Robert Newsom was dead.

Later, Celia said she had struck Newsom as he leaned into the window and that he fell backward and she never saw him again. In actuality, he lay on the floor of the cabin for about an hour while Celia tried to think what to do. Finally she decided to burn the body.

One must remember this was an uneducated and unsophisticated young pregnant woman. She had no idea how difficult it is to dispose of a human body. Celia testified that she went outside and got some staves that were designated to build hogsheads and built up a roaring fire. She then doubled up the body and put in into the fireplace and set it on fire. She kept the fire going all night long and in the early morning, drew out the bones that would not burn. The larger bones were hidden under the hearth and under the floor. Then she carried out some of the ashes and went to sleep.

The next morning, Celia was outside and spied Robert Newsom’s eleven year old grandson Coffee, playing in a tree. She offered the boy two dozen walnuts if he would carry out the ashes from her fireplace. He thought it was a good deal and hastened to do her bidding. Coffee unknowingly carried out his grandfather’s ashes and dumped them along a trodden down path. He later testified to this in court.

By this time, family members were missing Robert Newsom and commenced a search for him. Two adult sons who lived on their own property were summoned and joined the search. His daughter Virginia even looked along the creek thinking he may have fallen in and been swept away. Gradually the search narrowed to Celia, which bears up the opinion that everyone was aware of her forced relationship with Newsom.

William Powell, a neighboring farmer came to help with the search. At some point he talked to George and probably under duress, George told him stated that"it was not worthwhile to hunt for him anywhere except close to the house." He also added he believed Newsom was last seen walking along the path leading to Celia’s cabin. This caused the searchers to believe Celia had been involved in Newsom’s disappearance. They went immediately to the slave, who was working as normal in the family home and performing her regular duties. Several of the men began an interrogation. Remembering that Celia was a slave, one can conclude physical tactics were used to elicit information.

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During the questioning, William Powell, a neighbor, told Celia that George had said enough to make them aware that she knew the whereabouts of her master. Celia denied knowing anything and Powell said if she told the truth, her children would not be taken away from her. She still denied any knowledge and was told they already had a hanging rope fashioned for her. Celia still was adamant that she had no involvement in the disappearance.

After much questioning, Celia broke and made the statement that Newsom had come to the back window and she struck him at which point her fell backward and she never saw him again. Finally after even more interrogation she said if the Newsom sons were sent from the room, she would tell the truth. Celia was afraid they would lay hands on her and hang her right then if they heard her confess to killing their father. Then Celia told what had occurred the night before and she had done, confessing to murdering Newsom, but insisting she had only intended to harm him and never to kill him.

The bones Celia had hidden were retrieved and placed in a box by Newsom’s son. More small bones, buttons and a knife were found in the ashes dumped by Newsom’s grandson, Coffee. The bones were later identified as human by two separate physicians.

On the morning of June 25, 1855, the case of State of Missouri v Celia, a Slave began. The inquest jury was all male and comprised of six local residents. They, along with two Justices of the Peace and three witnesses, one of whom was Celia herself, met at the Newsom farm and the trial of Celia was underway. William Powell and Coffee Waynescot told what they knew of the morning Robert Newsom went missing. Then Celia spoke, reaffirming that she had never meant to kill her master but merely keep him at bay.

But no one believed her and it was determined that Celia, a slave, had “feloniously and willfully” murdered Robert Newsom and she was taken to the Calloway County jail, about nine miles away. Authorities still thought Celia had help in disposing of the body however she continued to insist she acted alone. A pregnant Celia sat in jail awaiting the trial which took place on October 9-10, 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

Politics quickly came into play. Judge William Hall surely knew that every slave owner in Missouri expected a guilty verdict. Anything else would create rebellion and incite slaves all over the state to think they too could get away with murder. Celia’s attorney himself, Isaac M. Boulware, was a slave owner and chosen to provide adequate but not serious representation. He indeed, appears to have honestly attempted a real defense.

At this time a law existed in Missouri** that forbade a man from “taking a woman unlawfully against her will and by force, menace or duress, compel her to be defiled.” However the Judge refused to instruct the jury that Celia fell into this area of “any woman” because she was the property of her master Robert Newsom. Celia’s attorney had requested “any woman” include slave women.

Additionally, Celia never spoke on her own behalf because slaves, and blacks in general, were not allowed to testify in court. Any statements made by the witnesses who interrogated Celia and mentioned her protestation of self defense were thrown out by Judge Hall. So Jameson proposed that since Celia was property that the rape was trespass. Jude Hal l ruled that an owner could not be charged with trespassing upon his own property. Therefore Celia had no self defense status allowed.

On October 10, 1855, Celia was found guilty of murder and sentenced to hang on November 16th.

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

Attorney Jameson appealed the verdict and asked for a stay of execution. The Supreme Court indeed agreed to hear the appeal but did not allow a stay of execution.

Someone removed Celia from jail and kept her away until after November 16th, then returned her to the Fulton jail. Apparently they believed this would ensure her safety until the Supreme Court ruled. On December 14th, the decision was rendered that no probable cause for appeal was noted and the stay of execution was refused.

On December 21, 1855 at 2:30pm, nineteen year old mother of two, Celia, was hanged by the neck until dead.

Questions and Answers

This incident had potential to change forever the entire concept of slavery. Had the judge allowed Celia to be considered "Any woman" the dynamic of how slave women could be treated would have burst open floodgates. Blacks and whites both would have been prosecuted for sexually assaulting slave women. However politics prevailed and a travesty of justice took place.

Question will always remain and forever be unanswered. It if hard to believe a young, ill, pregnant woman handled the body of a grown man by herself.

There is evidence that George ran away, leaving the woman who gave her life for him to endure the trials and jail alone. It is my personal belief that he helped dispose of the body.

Celia is a person who will forever stay in my memory and heart. As people read this and learn her story, I hope it prevents more injustice for others.

For more on Celia's case:
McLaurin, Melton A. CELIA, A SLAVE: A TRUE STORY (University of Georgia Press, 1991).
Gordon-Reed, Annette, ed. RACE ON TRIAL: LAW AND JUSTICE IN AMERICAN HISTORY (Oxford University Press, 2002).

Read the handwritten trial transcript----

**(the second article of Section 29 of the Missouri statues of 1845)

~~~At some point during her trial or shortly after it concluded, Celia gave birth to a stillborn baby.

~~~ No mention is made of Celia’s children and it is not known what happened to them. A study of the next Missouri census might show if they were still recorded as being on the Newsom farm. Indeed the next census shows Robert Newsom' older son had a nine year old girl listed as a slave and she is thought to possibly be Celia's daughter.

Celia, A Slave, Trial: Statement of Celia to Justice of the Peace (June 25, 1855)


Actual Slave Interviews-Project Gutenberg

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Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on March 06, 2018:

Our world has always been filled with injustice. We who are outraged by that continue to make a difference. Never stop fighting back but with gentleness and love.

Alianess Benny Njuguna from Nairobi, Kenya on March 06, 2018:

It is a sad story of how a few can get away with law while the rest of us are not given a fair judgment. Thanks for reminding the importance of being human and why we should fight for justice.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on January 07, 2017:

Hello Stewart. It is a sad, horrible true tale. This world is full of evil, cruel people. There is no one color or race. Slavery of any sort is something abhorrent and beyond imagining to me. This particular instance pertains to a white man being awful to a black woman. I believe this man would have been cruel whatever color he had been born. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Stewart McCleary on November 24, 2016:

Murderer or Martyr? What the fuck do you think. It's good that you wrote her story but who are you to pass judgement. When I read things like this it makes me feel ashamed to the core to be white

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on March 22, 2012:

Hello donnaisabella. I will look for information on Lena Baker. Perhaps a Hub will come from it. We certainly cannot do anything about past injustices. My hope and prayer is to edcucate people so these atrocities never occur again. I am very glad you found this Hub. Celia's story touches my heart in a big way.

Isabella Mukanda from Fort Myers on March 22, 2012:

I watched a video recently about Lena Baker whose story is not very different from this one. Some history facts are so sad, but what can we do, they already happened and for now, justice demands that we just to all men by looking for incidences of injustice. Thanks for the great write and for the education.

Mary Strain from The Shire on February 07, 2012:


You're right, of mistake. Nothing else would in fact be appropriate.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on February 07, 2012:

Hi Molly. This story touched my heart when I first read it. I will never forget this woman and her desperation. Bless her. Thank you for recognizing my need to let her shine and not be forgotten. I suppose the advertisers feel a story like this is not appropriate for any ad they can conceive. I cannot either. The lack of ads validates Celia's strength and sorrow.

Mary Strain from The Shire on February 07, 2012:

Wow, Hyph. I'm glad you wrote this, although I must say I'm surprised the ads got pulled. Why should shining the light on this story be controversial? I see things on the Internet every day that are as shocking, or even worse.

I'm glad you didn't let the loss of the ads throw you.

There's a Bible verse somewhere that reads..."because you can, you do." We humans are a wicked race unless we truly meet the Lord.

Such a sad story, but thanks for sharing it. This poor woman deserves a witness.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 03, 2011:

Hi ccbrookes. When I first heard about Celia, my heart broke for her. I knew her story needed to be kept alive so her death was not in vain. We must keep these atrocities from happening ever again.

ccbrookes on September 03, 2011:

Dreadful saga, very well told. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on July 04, 2011:

Hello KoffeeKlatch Gals. Thanks for stopping by. I loved writing this Hub because it needed to be told and was so saddened by the miscarriage of justice. This young girl-not even a woman yet, suffered so and loved deeply. I am so thankful that these terrible times can no longer be rampant here in the "land of the free."

I appreciate the votes and the read.

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on July 04, 2011:

I was fascinated by the way you wrote about this event. What a terrible time for so many innocent slaves. Rated up and awesome.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on July 03, 2011:

Why thank you htodd. I appreciate the visit.

htodd from United States on July 03, 2011:

Thanks for the great post...Nice

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 18, 2011:

Hello Jackie. I agree with you. But slavery has been happening for thousands of years. Many countries and religions condone the abuse of women. Those women sometimes become so mind controlled they accept it and believe it to be right. That is so sad.

I was surprised to learn that most believe slavery was confined to the deep south when even New York had slaves for a long time. When you have times read some of the Slave Narratives that I linked. It is eyeopening. You might be surprised to find one from your own area. The very word slave means the people were confined and refused freedom.

Thanks for the visit. Have a great day, HB.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on June 17, 2011:

I think most Americans think slavery started here in America by the English when actually it is almost as old as time and still goes on openly in some countries and some countries treat their women like that and worse with even the women thinking, well that is the way it is. In fact I read someone here at hubs since I have been here who almost defended it, a woman. I would hope American black and whites for the most part can be brought together trying to survive what our country is going through sharing the concerns, and where I am from even in colonial days people here did not confine and mistreat slaves as they did everywhere else. Very interesting story and opens many old wounds I am sure.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 17, 2011:

Hi RedElf. Thanks so much. I thought about the title very much. This is such a hard subject and I wanted to make it inviting without being deceptive about the serious matter within. I am glad you read it all. I believe it to be an important event in history that has not received proper attention.

I appreciate you and your visit and comments. HB

RedElf from Canada on June 17, 2011:

your intriguing title drew me to this article, but your story-telling and subject matter kept me riveted. Thanks so much for this one!

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 17, 2011:

horseback, Roots was the same for me. It made the reality of the slave trade and the lives of slaves so vivid. Remember that old saying "the truth will stand when the world is on fire"? I believe that. So much horror has been swept under the rugs of polite society. They must come out so as you said, these atrocities cannot ever be repeated. Because they will if allowed to be bleached to a harmless tan instead of blood red.

You can rant all you wish. I think I am too. Thanks for the praise. My sore heart surely went into this one.

ahorseback on June 17, 2011:

Hyphenbird , Immediately coming to my mind was the movie "Roots" , in the seventies. I have to say the most shocking portrayal of slavery in America ! I never liked Chuck Conners again after that! ....This is a great tribute to a time in America that we can all still be ashamed of. [as well as the rest of the world}! America is not alone ! But you my dear wrote so beautifuly. That is the one thing that I love about history ....There is a truth that is absolutely shocking to today's cultures. Now , none of us today were slaves or slave holders but all of us can learn ,so much , so much! about our history . America is a great nation ! But stories like this must be told again and again until they can never happen again ....anywhere! There I go , ranting! Awesome job!

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 16, 2011:

It is indeed a horrible story MartieCoetser. My mind and heart cannot begin to understand such cruelty. At least we have come to the point that this cannot happen now. Though terrible atrocities occur in our country of America, they are clandestine. Celia's story was public and in court and the injustice was without remorse. So sad.

Thank you for the votes and for the visit to this important Hub.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on June 16, 2011:

What a sad and gruesome story! I am so grateful to live in the current century, although similar happenings, only not in the milieu of slavery, are still the order of the day. Well-researched and well-written article about Celia, voted UP in all ways.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 15, 2011:

Hello there bellawritter. I also abhor people being forced in to slavery and degradation of any sort. I hope to see Celia in Heaven one day and give her a great big hug.

Thank you for the visit and kind words.

Erica Sanchez from California on June 15, 2011:

Wow what a story. I hate slavery and racism. I really do. Poor woman. This was truly informative and a great write along as a read. Thanks for sharing this story with us...

smiles :)


Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 15, 2011:

Thank you Fossillady. It was a subject that I thought needed to be brought into the forethought of our hearts. And I also am blessed to live in a time where things like that don't happen and be sanctified by the courts.

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on June 15, 2011:

I'm glad those days are over in American history. Such an ugly contradictory legacy! Excellent article Hyphenbird! Bless you

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 14, 2011:

Hello platinumOwl4. I agree that hidden agenda and injustices must be brought into the light of day. When they are hidden, they are ignored. There are many Celia type cases that have gone unrecognized. Read the Slave Narratives, they are eye opening and life changing. I will read the link you have provided. All countries have secrets and tragedies undercover.

Thanks for stopping in to this Hub.

platinumOwl4 on June 14, 2011:

These are the issues that must come to the forefront in order to correct some serious injustices. This is an exceptional hub, it can only make me wonder how many more Celia cases are on record. I recently discovered something about Sweden that even they would love to forget.

Teylina on June 13, 2011:

It was one of the toughest discussions in a seminar I have ever sat through. It was heart-wrenching, indeed, and, of course, we had a multi-racial class which really made it very intense. But I never forgot it, and never will.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 13, 2011:

Thank you Teylina. Discussing this in a class must have been heart wrenching.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 13, 2011:

Hello Epi. He sang me the sweetest "private" song. He is making up for leaving me alone so much. Your red wine offer sounds wonderful though and your karaoke Boss impersonation might be more then my little heart can take. You are COOL!

Teylina on June 13, 2011:

mckbirdbks, I think had I not been fully immersed in this particular case at one time, neither could I have said anything said anything except what you just did--there really are no words to contribute. Hyphen did such an awesome job. I remember it because I did as much crying as studying and writing! Difficult to discuss in class for most of us--even a lot of the guys.

epigramman on June 13, 2011:

......well Miss B - this is a serious hub subject just crying out for a song tribute as written by your dear husband Mister Boss - and if he doesn't do something about it real quick - I will personally come over there myself and sweep you off your pretty little feet and bring you back home and we will drink red wine together and I will impersonate Mister Boss and sing at the top of my lungs to you - SHE IS THE ONE !!!!!!!

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on June 13, 2011:

Understand that I would rather leave a smile with my comment. And on a Hub such as this I don’t feel it appropriate.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 13, 2011:

Hi mckbirdbks. I understand. It is beyond comprehension. Thanks for stopping in.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on June 13, 2011:

Hello Hyphenbird. I've gone through this twice now, and just don't know what I can contribute. Such a sad topic.

Motown2Chitown on June 13, 2011:

Given that it's still going on in other parts of the world today, I have no doubt that we could allow that sort of thing in America again were we to forget the horror. :( You did her justice, which is far more than anyone else ever did for her.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 13, 2011:

Hello marcoujor. Articles like this take a lot of strength to write. The ugly truth likes to stay hidden. I hope more people find this and comment. I am distressed to see a low score of 58 on a piece so important. Thank you for reading and commenting. I am sorry you cried but this did the same to me as I wrote it. My heart just ached to help her though I knew I was 150 years too late.

Thanks for the votes and for your great heart. Please spread the word about this Hub. So many hard hearts need to be softened and loving hearts aware so more abuses can be prevented.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 13, 2011:

Hello sweet Mo2Chi. Your heart is so very precious. Thank you for your compassion and love. Every one of us should be ashamed and horrified at the atrocities perpetuated on other human beings (and animals) and on our knees praying for forgiveness. Sadly, I believe many here in America would do these things today if they could get away with it. May Celia's legacy live forever to inspire justice and real freedom here in the land of the free.

Thank you for the kind words dear friend. I hope she is proud of how I handled this writing. I strove to write in integrity and clarity.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on June 13, 2011:

Hyph, Dear,

This might be the most powerful piece I have ever read from you. I have just stopped crying. I pray this is never pulled as people need to be forever reminded of what man has and can do in the fullest sense of cruelty.

May Celia be a tragic reminder for all of us and thank you for sharing in such a poignant manner.

I truly have goosebumps. Voted UP & UA. Love, mar.

Motown2Chitown on June 13, 2011:

Hyph, I read this yesterday and again today. I still have no words to adequately comment on it. What it boils down to is that I am appalled and ashamed at how one human being can so easily take away the humanity of another. That we ever allowed such behavior in this great nation is absolutely sickening to me. You've done Celia a great service in writing this hub, my dear sister.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 13, 2011:

Always, I agree. To face precious Jesus who loved so much that He died for us and confess such a hard hard and hate would be beyond my imagination.

C-Bless, she really was just a girl even after enduring so much, just nineteen. When she struck the first blow she must have known her life was over. Back then a slave did not strike a white person and live. I hope I always carry Celia's story in my heart to help me fight injustice, abuse and despair. Thanks for your visit.

Tonymead60, you are right. How could so many at the same time have no heart? Most every man at the trial were slave owners so that might explain it. The world indeed holds great numbers of enslaved people right now who suffer dreadfully. I hope this recounting of Celia will empower us all to fight for freedom and justice. Thanks for the visit and comments.

Tony Mead from Yorkshire on June 13, 2011:


wow what a fascinating story, despite the various social injustices of the time, it is hard to understand the total lack of compassion felt by the white population at that time. sadly there are still so many places that this story is still an everyday occurrence.

thank you for sharing


C-Bless from Canada on June 12, 2011:

Oh, the horror for Celia and her children. To not have a defense, I cannot begin to imagine the aloneness and isolation she felt. I'm glad you found this story to bring to our attention, lest we forget...

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 12, 2011:

OMG, Beaten because he was praying. I would hate to be in their shoes when they stand before God.

Teylina on June 12, 2011:

I have some works on Wilson. I'll have to read yours. I've used her in black history classes once or twice. We know these hubs cost you also, and that's when we know you are writing from the heart (as if we didn't already!).

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 12, 2011:

Hello always exploring. It is awful what happens when one human being claims ownership over another. It certainly is against the human design. Funny that you mentioned the churches. I was reading some of the Slave Narratives today and one exslave told how she witnessed a slave beaten until "blood ran from him like a slaughtered hog." The offense? He was caught praying!

I want to write more articles like this and like Mary Ellen Wilson. However I might have to find another site to post them on. I hope the staff here (who are great) allow me to post without ads, but I know HubPages is setup for the ad money.

Thanks for stopping by and for the support. You are wonderful and appreciated.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 12, 2011:

Teylina, did you do the case study? I saw a site of essays on the subject but didn't read them as I preferred not to be influenced by those opinions. There is much more to the story that is interesting such as the circumstances of attorneys and landowners. But it would have detracted from Celia's story to include all that.

If necessary we must indeed fight back, for ourselves and others. What is done to one can be done to us and our own loved ones. When you have an opportunity, read some of the Slave Narratives. Just click on the link. Some of those real person tales make my blood run cold.

I appreciate all the support. As I told someone else, this is the second Hub I have where ads are disabled. I understand but hope HubPages doesn't send me an email or pull this and Mary Ellen Wilson.

Thank you for reading and your kind heart.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 12, 2011:

Hyphen, This story is new to me. What a horrible time in our country. How could anyone think slavery was ok? We not only have a history of slavery, look at the indian. What bothers me the most is the fact that people thought it was ok, built mega million dollar churches, never missed a meeting. I hope you will write more stories like this. you are a gifted writer. Thank you.

Teylina on June 12, 2011:

Oh, Hyphenbird, as soon as I began reading this my heart started pounding. This was a case study in a seminar on criminal justice many years ago, and although I'm from what is known as the "Deep South," and I am proud of who I am and of my family, it is at time horrifying and embarrassing to admit it, and this is one of those times. When I first read of Celia I don't remember being shocked (because I was older and already knew a lot of that period of history) as much as being glad or proud or something that someone stood up for themselves and fought back. I was proud of Celia for taking a stand. I know what she did was wrong, but --- what does one say? Feenix, I'm so glad you said everything you did, and Hyphen, your remarks about the fear we could go there again and it hurting your soft heart, speak to my heart. I'm just terribly grateful that IF slavery was an issue sometime way back when in my family, I never knew it. My grandparents were born in late 1800's, and nothing but respect for all was ever taught me. I'm so grateful. Hitler had nothing on some Americans. Your writing was perfect; it did books and textbooks justice. Thank you for putting this on here to remind people how despicable slavery is. I hope the ice holds. If not, maybe we should fight back?

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 12, 2011:

A.A. Zavala. It was such a sad tale. I am thankful I ran across this so I could bring it to light though it was difficult to write about. Thanks for the visit. Please share the word about this Hub, I believe Celia deserves for the world to know about the injustice done to her.

Augustine A Zavala from Texas on June 12, 2011:

Had no idea of this occurance, but I'm know it was common place during those times of slavery. A tragic tale that needed to be shared.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 12, 2011:

Truckstop Sally, I also believe she was aware that Newsom would never stop. That is why she threatened to hurt him from the beginning. I pray she knew Jesus and is with Him and her babies. I appreciate your visit and comments.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 12, 2011:

Bumpsysmum, you are right on target!

Hello Reprieve. I am glad you found this well written. It is my desire that people find it informative and eyeopening. We can never allow these things to happen again, never. Thanks for the visit.

Hi WillStarr. I know you are right, thousands of atrocities must have occurred that never came to light. The signing of the Declaration of Emancipation was a powerful event indeed.

Truckstop Sally on June 12, 2011:

Thank you for a well-written account. Celia really had no other choice once she decided no meant no. I wonder if she regretted hitting her master in the end. Probably not. Perhaps she found freedom she had never experienced before in her afterlife and hopefully Newsom was condemned to spend his in hell. The roles reversed.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on June 12, 2011:

I imagine there were many similar incidents that were never reported and lost to history. And, if we look at the total history of slavery since the beginning of time, there are thousands upon thousands of such incidents.

Thank God we fought a war to put an end to it.

HS Contino from Oregon Coast on June 12, 2011:

What a sad, but well written article! I agree with you completely that it's important to remember the mistakes of the past in order to make sure that we don't repeat them.

Bumpsysmum from Cambridgeshire on June 12, 2011:

I am a great believer in recounting the true horrors of history to our young lest they forget what we are capable of. I feel sure that the second the true horror of war is swept under the carpet will be the second the next great war starts. Also with such as your story here, we must not be allowed to forget - change, forgive, put right, move on - but never forget :-)

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 12, 2011:

Hello dear Bumpsysmum. Indeed how can we call ourselves the superior species and commit such horrors? Our "equal" society is anything but equal. We just conduct it differently. I am glad you found this Hub. This story should be known in every school and presented as the injustice it was. Thank you for your comments. Please tell others about this Hub. Have a good day as you get stronger and even more vital.

Bumpsysmum from Cambridgeshire on June 12, 2011:

Oh, what we have done as so called human beings? History has a way of rearing up and reminding us how some things still have not changed for the better. Great piece of work, found it quite emotive, knowing it was commonplace made it even more so, well done :-)

feenix on June 12, 2011:

Hyphenbird, your "style" is just fine. It is just as effective as the "political style", if not more effective.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 12, 2011:

Hello feenix. Yes, this was a sad and important case. That little girl was braver and more desperate than most people I have ever encountered. There also was a Celia in Jacksonville Florida who murdered her master under much different circumstances. Have you read that account?

feenix, I am glad if my Hub helped you remember this tragic event. I think we all need to remember these things. This is my way of helping achieve that without getting all political, that is just not my style.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 12, 2011:

Good morning Epigramman. I feel full of power when you make my head swell with your words. This is indeed a sad story and my heart broke while I was researching it. Hidden and forgotten tragedies must be brought into the light of day so we can honor the victims and empower ourselves to never allow repetition.

Thanks for the visit. Have a wonderful day "gramming."

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 12, 2011:

Good morning Sunnie. I was surprised when I first discovered this story to find it did not happen in the Deep South but in Missouri. I was expecting Georgia, Mississippi, etc. I think I will put a map on the Hub also. And I hope it doesn't get pulled. Ads were disabled on it and I understand why. This is the second of mine to have ads disabled (Mary Ellen Wilson also). So I am treading on ice here, I think.

Thank you for your precious heart. I also feel badly for Celia even now. Have a great day.

feenix on June 12, 2011:

Hyphenbird, this is one of the best hubs I have read on this network. Excellent writing and you did a superb job of giving an account of an historic incident. I hope that readers from all over the internet come and read this post.

Personally, I am very grateful to you for writing and publishing this work. It was back when I was in my 20s that I read the story about "Celia" and her execution for murdering her master -- and until I read your hub, I had not thought about that incident in years. In other words, your post served to remind me of a part of U.S. history that I should not have forgotten.

Hyphenbird, you are a brilliant writer, a highly-intelligent person and an all-around good-and-lovely soul.

I love you, sister.

epigramman on June 12, 2011:

....tears come to my eyes Miss B when I read this - only one thing to say afterwards ....... Mrs. Springsteen, you don't need no 'Boss' in your life - you are the Boss when it comes to writing something as powerful and riveting as this .....

Sunnie Day on June 11, 2011:

Dear Hyphenbird,

This was indeed a very sad but well written story...One of many from the Deep South concerning the despicable acts of slavery. Thank you for telling us about, Celia. God bless her even today.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 11, 2011:

Good afternoon Alastar. Yep, he certainly was a nasty man. One cannot imagine what that girl went through. Some slave holders in the South sometimes beat or killed several slaves when one did something "wrong". I hope this Hub softens hearts and opens eyes to hidden issues in our past that changed our now.

Thank you as always for your loyalty and comments. This type of writing is painful to my soft heart.

Brenda Barnes (author) from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on June 11, 2011:

alzel, it certainly was a terrible time, and was not that long ago. I also fear we will forget or grow even more hardhearted than our society currently is.

Thanks for stopping by.

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on June 11, 2011:

Dirty 'older' man is certainly applicable in this instance. In ancient Rome, if a slave killed a master, all the slaves were put to death. This is a tragic chapter in America's history and you have found an interesting and no doubt, generally unknown one to most people. Very well written Hyph, keep them coming.

Alex Zelahy from Indiana on June 11, 2011:

It was a sad era for the US. We need to hear about these thing least we forget and repete. Thanks

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