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Who was Dred Scott?

Who was Dred Scott?

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Who was Dred Scott?

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  1. Who was Dred Scott? • A slave born around the 1800’s • Married fellow slave: Harriet Robinson • 2 children: Eliza and Lizzie • Died: Sept. 17, 1858 Dred Scott

  2. Who was Sanford? • Brother of Irene Sanford Emerson (Dr. Emerson’s widowed wife) • Proslavery. • Claimed rights to Scott Family • Dealt with all of Irene’s affairs

  3. He and his master (Peter Blow) migrated westward from Southhampton County, VA to AL In 1830, they migrated to St. Louis Peter Blow died two years later Migration Southhampton County

  4. New Master • Dred Scott was bought by army surgeon: Dr. Emerson • Then brought to the free state of IL. • Then two years later brought to WI Territory Emerson’s duty moved him south, Scott Family followed a year later, unaccompanied • Dr. Emerson then died in 1843

  5. Dred Scott met and married Harriet on WI Territory She became pregnant in 1838 Harriet gave birth to their daughter Eliza Scott in free waters on the steamer Gipsey She then gave birth to another daughter: Lizzie Harriet Robinson

  6. Life with Irene Sanford Emerson • Ownership of the Scott family transferred to Irene (widow of Dr. Emerson) • Refused to allow Dred Scott and his wife pay for their emancipation for $300 • Forced them to work for other people while collecting their wages

  7. Filing for Freedom • Not uncommon for slaves to file for freedom while living in a free state. • Dred Scott lived in free territory for the past decade • Thought he would be successful • April 6,1846: Dred Scott and his wife both filed separately for freedom from Irene with the help of the Blow family and a African American Minister, John R. Anderson because neither of them could read or write

  8. Trial • Cases came to trial June 30, 1847 • Both were dismissed on technicality (could not prove they belonged to widow) • Lawyer pushed for a new trial.

  9. Road to Supreme Court • 1848: MI Supreme Court decide case need to be retried • 1850: Case retried, St. Louis court declare family free • Mrs. Emerson refused to accept the court’s decision • Both cases were combined • 1852: MI Supreme Court declare St. Louis court’s decision invalid • Scott and lawyers brought case to federal courts • 1854: United States Circuit Court in MI, same decision as MI Supreme Court

  10. Chief Justice • Scott and his lawyers then brought the case to Supreme Court • Chief Supreme Court Justice: Roger B. Taney- A former slave owner from Maryland Roger B. Taney

  11. Nine Justices • There were nine justices appointed to the case • Strong Bias: • Seven had been appointed by pro-slavery presidents from the South • Of these, five were from slave-holding families

  12. Decision of Supreme Court • The Scott’s daughters were added to the case • March 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 slave and therefore a non-citizen Scott had no rights and could not sue in a Federal Court

  13. Effect of Case • Decision affected both the enslaved and the free African-Americans • Step backwards regarding rights of African-Americans • Also declared MI Compromise of 1820 unconstitutional • The MI Compromise of 1820 violated the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution (prohibits Congress from depriving persons of their property without due process of law) • Therefore ruling that the federal government did not have the power to prohibit slavery in its territories

  14. Dred Scott after the case • Peter Blow's sons, childhood friends of Scott, had helped pay Scott's legal fees through the years • After the Supreme Court's decision, the former master's sons purchased Scott and his wife • May 26, 1857, Dred and Harriet Scott appeared in the Circuit Court of St. Louis and the Blow son’s emancipated them • Harriet worked as a free laundress and Dred delivered her laundry and he was a porter at a hotel • Dred Scott died nine months later of tuberculosis

  15. OVERALL • Widened the political and social gap between North and South and took the nation closer to the brink of Civil War.

  16. Information Sources • • •

  17. Image Sources • • • •