BLACK HISTORY MINUTE!!! Dred Scott - (1795 - 1858)
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." The case was based on the fact that although he and his wife Harriet Scott were slaves, they 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.
Following the ruling, Scott and his family were returned to Emerson's widow. In the meantime, her brother John Sanford had been committed to an insane asylum.
In 1850, Irene Sanford Emerson had remarried. Her new husband, Calvin C. Chaffee, was an abolitionist, who shortly after their marriage was elected to the US Congress. Chaffee was apparently unaware that his wife owned the most prominent slave in the United States until one month before the Supreme Court decision. By then it was too late for him to intervene. Chaffee was harshly criticized for having been married to a slaveholder. He persuaded Irene to return Scott to the Blow family, his original owners. By this time, the Blow family had relocated to Missouri and become opponents of slavery. Henry Taylor Blow emancipated the four Scotts on May 26, 1857, less than three months after the Supreme Court ruling.
Scott went to work as a porter in St. Louis. About 17 months later, he died from tuberculosis in September 1858. Scott was survived by his wife and his two daughters.
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