Compromise, Missouri is admitted to the Union as a slave
state and the
expansion of slavery in the Louisiana Territory is limited
south of Missouri.
fall of 1822, the Robert Newsom family settles land on the
in southern Callaway County, Missouri (about 9 miles south
||Celia, age 14,
arrives from neighboring Audrain County to become Robert
female slave, joining five male slaves on his 800-acre
County's population is 13,827, including 9,895
60, rapes Celia in 1850 and continues to demand sexual
his slave girl over the course of the next five
gives birth to two children, almost certainly fathered by
Her main duty on the farm seems to be that of
1855, Celia enters into a romantic relationship with
one of Newsom's slaves.
pregant again, either carrying the child of Newsom or
lover. George demands the Celia some having sex with
rejected Celia's plea that he stop having sex with her,
tells Celia "he
was coming to her cabin that night." At about 10 p.m.,
his house and walks the fifty yards over to Celia's
toward Celia, she strikes him on the head with a large
falls from the blow and Celia hits him on the head on
killing him. She places Newsom's body in her
fireplace and lights
Waynescot, Newsom's 12-year-old grandson, to spread ashes
previous night's fire along a path to the stable....The
concerned about Newsom's disappearance, begins an
William Powell, leader of the search party, questions
George, who tells
him "it is not worth while to hunt for him except around
house." George tells Powell "he believed the last
[Newsom] had done was along the path" leading to Celia's
Powell and others search Celia's cabin, but find
Confronting Celia, she initially admits that Newsom came
to her cabin
seeking sex, but claims that after she struck him he
more intense questioning, she confesses.
arrested. Two justices of the peace conduct an
Newsom's murder. At the inquest, William Powell,
Waynescoat, and Celia provide sworn statements concerning
murder. A six-person inquest jury finds probable
cause to charge
Celia with the murder of Robert Newsom.
heats up in Missouri and Kansas as pro-slavery and
clash in each state.
in Kansas to join his sons in the battle for a slave-free
||The trial of
opens in the Callaway County Courthouse in Fulton in the
Judge William Hall. A twelve-person, all-white,
all-male jury is
testimony in the trial of Celia. The defense
that the murder was committed in self-defense. Judge
the defense's request to instruct the jury that the
justifiable if done to prevent a sexual assault. The
a verdict of guilty.
to set aside the jury verdict and grant a new trial.
||Judge Hall denies the motion for a new trial and sentences Celia to be "hanged by the neck until dead" on November 16. Judge Hall refuses to issue an order staying execution until Celia's appeal could be heard by the Missouri Supreme Court.|
||On the night of
November 11, five days before her scheduled execution (and
decision yet made on her appeal to the Missouri Supreme
escapes from the Callaway County jail.
to jail, probably by the people who aided in her
escape. A new
date, December 21, is set for her execution.
Celia write a letter to Judge Abiel Leonard, a newly
elected member of
the Missouri Supreme Court, arguing that the refusal of
Judge Hall to
give certain requested instructions constituted reversible
dominate the headlines in both Missouri and Kansas (where
civil war threatens to erupt), the Missouri Supreme Court
rejects Celia's appeal.
in her cell and again claims that she alone was
Newsom's death. She tells her interrogators
"as soon as I
struck him the Devil got into me, and I struck him with a
he was dead."
Celia is hanged in Fulton, Missouri.