Black History Month- Dred Scott

-1795- September 17, 1858

-After the death of his original owner, he was sold to another man and spent time as a slave in two free states. Scott tried to buy freedom for himself and his family from their heirs of his second owner after his owner’s death but failed.

-In the late 1840s, Scott filed suit to gain his freedom with help from two St. Louis attorneys. The basis of his case was that he had been taken from Missouri, a slave state, to Illinois, a free state. The case dragged on for years, finally making its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857. The Supreme Court ruled against him, but the decision served to increase anti-slavery agitation in the North.

-Shortly after the ruling, Scott was emancipated. He stayed in St. Louis and found work as a porter in a local hotel.

-His freedom proved to be short lived; Scott died of tuberculosis on September 17, 1858.

-From what experts can conclude, Scott was originally named Sam and had an older brother named Dred. However, when the brother died as a young man, Scott chose to take his brother’s name instead.

-The Dred Scott Case ended the prohibition of slavery in federal territories and prohibited Congress from regulating slavery anywhere.

-The ruling of the court helped catalyze sentiment for Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the three constitutional amendments ratified shortly after the Civil War: the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, abolishing slavery, granting former slaves citizenship, and conferring citizenship to anyone born in the United States.

 

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