Typical slave cabin, c. 1830, in Missouri. This is known as the "John Condron slave cabin." Image online, courtesy Library of Congress (American Memory).
They arrived in a land
an unbroken wilderness
filled with opportunity
(Celia, A Slave, page 4)
The state of Missouri had a law against rape in 1850. It prohibited anyone from taking "any woman unlawfully against her will and by force, menace or duress, compel her to be defiled."
Missouri had another law, in the 1850s, allowing a woman to use deadly force to protect herself from rape. Even homicide was justified
...when committed by any person ... resisting any attempt to ... commit any felony upon him or her.
A court of law would not apply those laws to a slave named Celia.
This is her story.
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