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Dred Scott
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Slave
    (1795-September 17, 1858)
    Property of Peter Blow (insert your own joke) until bought by Dr. John Emerson (1830)
    Sued, along with his wife, for their freedom at the St. Louis Circuit Court (1846)
    Appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court - Scott v. Sanford, aka The Dred Scott Case (1856-57)
    He did not read or write.
    After Dr. Emerson died in 1843 his widow would not grant his freedom, prompting a civil suit.
    He lost his first case for freedom at the St. Louis Circuit Court (1847), but was allowed to appeal.
    Though he had no control where he lived, he based his appeal on the fact he lived with Dr. & Mrs. Emerson for a time in the slave free states of Illinois and Wisconsin.
    He won a second suit in 1850 but was not freed pending appeal by the widow who didn't want to lose 'valuable property.'
    Her brother, John Sanford, took the case to U.S. Federal Court (1853-54) and had the decision reversed, once again making him a slave.
    He took the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, where in a 7-2 ruling against him result in he and his family staying slaves.
    His case is considered a flashpoint for the start of the Civil War.
    He was born into slavery.
    He took action through the legal system to free himself and his family.
    His former owner paid for his legal fees.
    As a slave the Supreme Court ruled he was private property (chattel).
    The court cited the Fifth Amendment, claiming he was private property which could not be taken away without due process.
    This meant the courts ruled 'property' had no legal recourse.
    The court system he believed in failed him.
    When Mrs. Emerson remarried her new husband opposed slavery. They returned him to his original owner, who immediately gave him and his family their freedom (1857).
    He died of tuberculosis after just a little more than a year after becoming a free man.
    He inspired the thirteenth amendment, making slavery illegal (1865).

Credit: Scar Tactics


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