The Dred Scott Decision

Megan Bell
Note by Megan Bell, updated more than 1 year ago
Megan Bell
Created by Megan Bell over 4 years ago


Summary of the Dred Scott Decision

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· Came about in spring 1857 after Buchanan’s election and during the panic of 1857 and the Lecompton Constitution. · Dred Scott was born as a slave in 1795 in Virginia and had moved to Missouri in the late 1820’s with his master, he was later owned under another master John Emmerson (An Army surgeon who travelled from Missouri covering the Upper Midwest working at army bases and took Scott with him) · Dred Scott lived with his master from 1834-1838 in places such as Minnesota which was a free territory. · Dred Scott tried to buy his own freedom but failed. · While in Minnesota he married a free black woman. · Emmerson brought him back to Missouri in 1838 during a time when Missouri was a very divided place - a group of anti-slavery folk tried to help Dred Scott sue for his freedom. · In 1846, the case moved through local courts and the first decision at a local court (1850) gave Scott his freedom as he had resided on free soil for 4 years. · The case was appealed by the State of Missouri in 1852 and sent it to the Missouri Supreme Court who ruled Dred Scott’s freedom would be denied despite the fact he lived on free soil. · With the help of an anti-slavery group, they pushed the appeal to the US Supreme Court. By this time Scott was owned by another man John Sanford. · Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney believed Dred Scott had no right to sue as African-Americans were not citizens of the United States. · The North exploded in denunciations of Taney’s decision. It enflamed passions and brought the Union closer to dissolving. · Lead to the election of Lincoln in 1860.

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