Table of Contents • Who was Dred Scott? • Events Affecting Dred Scott’s fate • Timeline of Events • The Two Sides of the Issue • The Decision of the Supreme Court • The Supreme Court also Ruled • The Missouri Compromise • Missouri Compromise Map • The Spread of Slavery in the United States • The Impact of the Decision • Did the Supreme Court get it Right?
Who was Dred Scott? • Dred Scott was an African American slave born in the early 1800’s. He was owned by Dr. John Emerson, a physician in the US Army until Dr. Emerson’s death. • Married a fellow slave, Harriett Robinson. They hade two children Eliza and Lizzie. • After Dr. Emerson died, he became property of Mr. John Sanford until Scott’s death on September 18, 1858. • The abolitionist brought suite on behalf of Mr. Scott seeking a ruling for his freedom from slavery.
Events Affecting Dred Scott’s Fate • As an officer of the Army, Dr Emerson was often ordered to move about the country taking with him his “property,” Dred Scott. • Dred Scott, was taken from the slave state of Missouri to the free state of Illinois and then to the free territory of Wisconsin. He lived on free soil for a long period of time. • When the Army ordered his master to go back to Missouri, he took Scott with him back to that slave state, where his master died. • In 1846, Scott was helped by Abolitionist (anti-slavery) lawyers to sue for his freedom in court, claiming he should be free since he had lived on free soil for a long time.
Timeline of Events Emerson is transferred back to Missouri – A Slave State He passes away shortly after. Emerson is stationed in Missouri – A Slave State Emerson is transferred to Illinois – A Non-Slave State Emerson is transferred to Wisconsin – A Non-Slave State
Dred Scott’s Arguments Lived as a slave at first. Moved to two free states where he lived a long time as a non slave. He considered himself to be a free man. He moved back to a slave state. His owner passed away, therefore he does not have an owner US Supreme Court Dred Scott was not a US Citizen because he was a slave. Slaves are considered property with no citizen rights. Congress has no right to control a person’s property. Dred Scott was still considered to be a slave The Two Sides of the Issue
The Decision of the Supreme Court • In March of 1857, Scott lost the decision as seven out of nine Justices on the Supreme Court declared no slave or descendant of a slave could be a U.S. citizen, or ever had been a U.S. citizen. • As a non-citizen, the court stated, Scott had no rights and could not sue in a Federal Court and must remain a slave.
The Supreme Court also ruled… • The Supreme Court also ruled that Congress could not stop slavery in the newly emerging territories and declared the Missouri Compromise of 1820 to be unconstitutional. • The Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery north of the parallel 36°30´ in the Louisiana Purchase. • The Court declared it violated the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution which prohibits Congress from depriving persons of their property without due process of law.
The Missouri Compromise • The Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820 under the presidency of James Monroe and between the pro slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, involving primarily the regulation of slavery in the western territories. • It prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30′ north except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri.
The Impact of the Decision • The decision would prove to be an indirect catalyst for the American Civil War. • How might this event have contributed to the start of the Civil War?
Did the Supreme Court Get it Right? • This case is about slaves being regarded as the property of others. • Define “property.” How does that apply to persons in this case? • Think about the law. • Think about the arguments. • What would your decision be? • How might this event have contributed to the start of the Civil War?