Friday, July 24, 2015

MISSOURI STATE ARCHIVES: THE DRED SCOTT CASE

In its 1857 decision that stunned the nation, the United States Supreme Court upheld slavery in United States territories, denied the legality of black citizenship in America, and declared the Missouri Compromise to be unconstitutional. All of this was the result of an April 1846 action when Dred Scott innocently made his mark with an "X," signing his petition in a pro forma freedom suit, initiated under Missouri law, to sue for freedom in the St. Louis Circuit Court. Desiring freedom, his case instead became the lightning rod for sectional bitterness and hostility that was only resolved by war.

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