Celia, A Slave

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Celia, A Slave

Book Exam for Celia, a Slave, Melton A. McLaurin

In a complete essay, answer ONE of the following. Please do not forget to answer the entire essay question (100 points).

Southerners justified their %u0432%u0402%u045Apeculiar institution%u0432%u0402%u045C (that is, slavery) by claiming paternalistic oversight. In other words, Negroes were like children, and if white slave owners didn%u0432%u0402%u2122t take care of them, then the slaves wouldn%u0432%u0402%u2122t know how to take care of themselves. The case of Missouri vs. Celia cast a brutal light on this attitude exposing it as false. In your view, why did Southern slave owners feel the need to justify their peculiar institution in a positive fashion?

The fact that Celia even had a trial challenged the %u0432%u0402%u045Apeculiar institution%u0432%u0402%u045C in the South. Why do you think Callaway County, MO allowed Celia a trial? Even though Celia was given the death penalty for her crime, how did her actions (and Celia%u0432%u0402%u2122s exploitation by Newsome) force white Southerners to face the moral ambiguity of the slave system?