Celia, A Slave, Trial (1855): Trial Testimony of  Thomas Shoatman

Callaway County Courthouse in Fulton, Missouri

Thomas Shoatman, being sworn in, states as follows:

I was present with the bones at the jail. Celia said that she struck Newsom two blows with a stick. When she struck the first time, he fell and appeared to throw his hands up. The reason she gave for striking him a second time was that he threw his hands up. That she was afraid he would catch her. She said she did not intend to kill him when she struck him, but only to hurt him. She was neither at or towards his back - not immediately before him. She struck down, on or towards a stool. After she struck the second blow, she examined to see whether he were dead. He was dead. Waited a long time, did not know what to do. She thought she would try to burn him, and pushed him into the fireplace and burned him. The stick with which she struck was so large as the top part of the chair, of  a Windsor chair above the seat but not so long.