Celia A Slave Case

920 Words4 Pages
One of the most difficult situations to face in life is a moral dilemma. This is exactly what was encountered by slaveholders and plain folk alike concerning the trial of Celia, a slave during the 1850s. The moral ambiguity of slavery is addressed in Celia, A Slave, especially as the sexual aspect of Celia’s case called people to contemplate whether it was moral to mistreat slaves. When Celia had been sexually abused and mistreated by her master, she lashed out and killed him. From the perspective of the 1850s, her master, Robert Newsom, had not committed a crime, whereas Celia had perpetrated a crime deserving of the death penalty. If Celia had been deemed innocent, it would have proven a troublesome scenario for the Southern states which…show more content…
First, it would give slaves the right to certain inalienable rights, expressed in the Declaration of Independence as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Secondly, the state would be affirming the worth and inherent value of slaves as human beings. Likely, more grace would also be given to slaves in similar cases, such as Dred Scott v. Sanford. Overall, the premise of the case undermined the whole institution of slavery. If slaves were humans with value, then where was the validity of a human owning another human? Slaveholders would likely have been forced by law to treat their slaves well. However, the supremacy of white people over black people was a privilege that slave owners would refuse to give up. Thus, Celia was condemned to die, regardless of whether she was actually…show more content…
They believed that God had ordained them to conquer other nations, be the supreme race, and demonstrate their dominance over other races by holding slaves. Convinced that slavery was right, they blinded themselves to the truth, and were even able to use Bible verses to make a case for slavery being a right and good thing. Celia’s case was one that shed light on the corruption of the state and the moral depravity of slaveholders, who upheld white dominance over doing the right thing. With their god-complex, they went as far as to put themselves on a pedestal above God. The condemnation of Celia to death demonstrated that whites would go to great lengths to protect their beloved institution of
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