Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Missouri History: Celia’s Story
  • Marla A. Jackson
    born 1952
    born: Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • Missouri History: Celia’s Story, 2017
  • Where object was made: United States
  • fabric denim, cotton, fabric paint, African waxed fabric
  • Object Height/Width: 48 x 47 in
  • Loan from the artist
  • Not on display
  • EL2017.094
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Narratives of the Soul", 08-Jul-2017
This quilt tells the story of a young woman named Celia who was forced into slavery at age 14 by the Newsom family near Fulton, Missouri. Between 1850 and 1855, Celia became pregnant several times as a result of repeated sexual assaults by the slave owner Robert Newsom. One night in June 1855, Celia attacked Newsom to prevent another assault. Newsom died and Celia was brought to trial. Celia was tried by a 12-person, all-white, all-male jury, and her plea of self-defense did not prevail. She was sentenced to death by hanging, and was killed in December 1855.