This book not only gives an account of a slave put on trial for the murder of her owner but also gives you a history of the times. The Dred Scott decision, The Missouri Compromise,and the rights enslaved blacks or lack of. I found the book to be informative and also providing notes of reference for expanded reading. One of the books it mentions is The Plantation Mistess which I have available.
This is a most unusual book, based on a true story of a slave woman, Celia, who takes revenge on her cruel master, and the ensuing trial.
Very interesting book about slavery!
I just finished reading this book, and I thought it was very good. I've read a few slave narratives before, but this was a fascinating departure from that. It focuses on the trial of a 19-year-old slave accused of murdering her master in Missouri. It explores the politics of slavery (Kansas was being fought over by pro- and anti-slavery groups at the time), as well as the powerlessness of women, especially slave women, during this period. It was a bit slow reading at first, but once it got to the crime and the trial, I was hooked. It was quite readable for a scholarly work, and was brief enough that it kept my attention.
This book is well written and will hold your interest.
However, I think what is significant is what isn't looked at.
The book is profoundly ignorant in ways such as the author uses modern rape studies to guess what Celia must have must thinking when her master first came to her bed. Someone who was raised in slavery will not see herself or the world the same way as a modern feminist who is raped in a parking garage.
He does not think or seem to consider about the effect of bondage on her perception. If one is raised to think her purpose in life is to serve and to please the master, what will be the effect on her psyche if he wants sex. Contemporary sources report that being the master's concubine was a position of status. Celia may have thought that she had it made. Or she may have been even more in despair because she knew she was bound to this man until she displeased him enough to make him sell her.
Other parts of the book show similar lack of deep thought on the issue.
I bought this for a class and I don't think I actually read it. It's about the trial of a slave that actually happened in the 1850s in Missouri.