What is Dred Scott?

  • (noun): United States slave who sued for liberty after living in a non-slave state; caused the Supreme Court to declare the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional (1795?-1858).
    Synonyms: Scott

Dred Scott

Dred Scott (1795 – September 17, 1858), was an African-American slave in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as "the Dred Scott Decision." His case was based on the fact that although he and his wife Harriet Scott were slaves, he had lived with his master Dr. John Emerson in states and territories where slavery was illegal according to both state laws and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, including Illinois and Minnesota (which was then part of the Wisconsin Territory). The United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott's temporary residence outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation under the Missouri Compromise, which the court ruled unconstitutional as it would improperly deprive Scott's owner of his legal property.

Read more about Dred Scott.

Some articles on Dred Scott:

Stephen A. Douglas - Debating Lincoln, 1858
... Douglas to commit himself on the question of Dred Scott versus popular sovereignty ... If Douglas answered "No", he would fully endorse Dred Scott, and would alienate Illinoisans and other Northerners ... If he answered "Yes", he would reject Dred Scott, and would alienate Southerners ...
Panic Of 1857 - Causes
... led to the Panic of 1857 was the Supreme Court ruling in Dred Scott v ... After Scott sued for his freedom, Chief Justice Roger Taney ruled that Dred Scott was not a citizen because he was an African-American and therefore did not ... Soon after the Dred Scott ruling, "the political struggle between 'free soil' and slavery in the territories" began ...
Calvin C. Chaffee
... John Emerson, the owner of the slave Dred Scott ... There is speculation that Chaffee advanced the Dred Scott case as a test for slavery ... in February 1857, only a month before the Supreme Court handed down the infamous Dred Scott decision ...
Lincoln's House Divided Speech - Lincoln's Argumentation
... to speak—compounded of the Nebraska doctrine, and the Dred Scott decision ... The Negro's name was "Dred Scott" ... While the opinion of Chief Justice Taney, in the Dred Scott case expressly declare that the Constitution of the United States neither permits congress nor a territorial legislature ...
Dred Scott - Aftermath
... The Dred Scott Case ended the prohibition of slavery in federal territories and prohibited Congress from regulating slavery anywhere ...

Famous quotes containing the word scott:

    At eighteen our convictions are hills from which we look; at forty-five they are caves in which we hide.
    —F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)