Celia, A Slave Chapters 7-8 Summary & Analysis

Melton A. McLaurin

Celia, A Slave

  • 29-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 8 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a college English professor with 20 years of experience
Access Full Summary

Celia, A Slave Chapters 7-8 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 7 Summary: Final Disposition

Chapter Seven, “Final Disposition,” opens with speculation about the nature and language of Celia’s appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court, written on her behalf by Jameson, Kouns, and Boulware.  This chapter also describes how Celia was removed from jail before her scheduled execution date of November 16, and then returned sometime after, a fact acknowledged by Celia’s attorneys in their letter to the Supreme Court judges sent in support of their appeal.  No one claimed responsibility for her “escape,” but since she was returned after her execution date, it was clearly intended to give time for the court to respond to her appeal, as Judge Hall refused to grant a stay.

Chapter Seven also discusses the political upheaval in Missouri as a result of David Atchinson’s bid for the Senate and the continuing fight over Kansas’s entry into the Union as a free or slave state. During the Free Soil convention in Topeka, Kansas, which met at the end of October and beginning of November and coincided with the weeks leading up to Celia’s first scheduled date of execution and the time when she and her lawyers were waiting to hear the ruling on her appeal, delegates drafted a constitution and an application for Kansas statehood.  These moves toward establishing Kansas as a free state prompted response from proslavery forces in Missouri; more and more men were armed on both sides and violence was imminent.  On November 21 the murder of a free-state settler by a proslavery settler set off a chain of events that led to the Free State fortification of Lawrence, Kansas, against a small army of proslavery forces brought in from Missouri.  Although the stand-off at Lawrence was defused by the negotiation of a treaty between the two governments, the underlying issues remained in the headlines and politics and providedthe larger context for Celia’s case.

McLaurin also notes that of the three men on Missouri’s Supreme Court, two had already handed down proslavery decisions in the earlier Dred Scott case and were unlikely to rule in Celia’s favor, no matter the efforts of the…

This is just a preview. The entire section has 1239 words. Click below to download the full study guide for Celia, A Slave.