Sonia E. Osorio
U.S. History I Enriched
25 February 2013
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
Slavery was at the root of the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Dred Scott sued his master to obtain freedom for himself and his family. His argument was that he had lived in a territory where slavery was illegal; therefore he should be considered a free man. Dred Scott was born a slave in Virginia around 1800. Scott and his family were slaves owned by Peter Blow and his family. He moved to St. Louis with them in 1830 and was sold to John Emerson, a military doctor. They went to Illinois and the Wisconsin territory where the Missouri Compromise of 1820 prohibited slavery. Dred Scott married and had two daughters. John Emerson married Irene Sanford. In 1842, they all returned to St. Louis, Missouri. John Emerson died the next year. In 1846, Scotts sued Irene Emerson for their freedom. The Scott’s stay in free territories gave them the ability to sue for their freedom. However, they did not do this while they were living there (Dred Scott’s Fight). In 1847, the St. Louis courthouse ruled against Scott but he was given the right to a second trial. In 1850, in the second trial, the jury decided that the Scotts should be freed. Mrs. Emerson did not want to lose the Scotts, so she appealed her case to the Missouri State Supreme Court. The Missouri State Supreme Court reversed the decision in 1852. In St. Louis Federal Court, Dred Scott sued Mrs. Emerson’s brother, John Sanford. The Court ruled in favor of Sanford. Dred Scott appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court (Dred Scott’s Fight). Dred Scott argued that he had been freed as a result of living with his master in the free state of Illinois and in federal territory. The Missouri Compromise forbade slavery there. In the slave states, slaves were considered valuable property; Mrs. Emerson did not want to lose the Scotts. Her main argument was that they were depriving her...
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