Event: Dred Scott Case
Category: African-American Experience, Cultural Life, St. Louis and the West
Brief Description: Dred Scott, a slave, filed a lawsuit for freedom in St. Louis Circuit Court in 1846. The suit was brought against his owner, Irene Emerson. He argued that, because Mrs. Emerson´s husband had taken him to several free states, he should be declared free. The jury agreed with Scott, setting him free. Mrs. Emerson appealed the decision to the Missouri Supreme Court, which overturned the finding and returned Scott to slavery. Scott then opened the case in federal court, where he lost. He took his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which found that he was not a citizen but a piece of property, and therefore not allowed to file a lawsuit. The court´s ruling meant that Scott must remain a slave, but he was sold soon thereafter and hiw new owner set him free.
Decade: 1840 - 1849
Beginning Date: 1846
Ending Date: 1846
Event Description: Dred Scott´s first brought suit against his owner, Irene Emerson in 1846. The jury in that case agreed with him, setting him free. Emerson, appealed the decision to the Missouri Supreme Court, where Scott was returned to slavery. Scott then opened the case in federal court, where he lost, and took his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which found that he was not a citizen, he was a piece of property, and therefore must remain a slave.
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