Dred Scott v. Sandford

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Dred Scott v. Sandford

Dred Scott was born a slave in the state of Virginia around the 1800's. Around 1833 he was purchased from his original owner, Peter Blow, by John Emerson, an officer in the United States Army. Dr. Emerson took Dred Scott to the free state of Illinois to live, and under it's constitution, he was eligible to be free. In around 1836, Dred Scott and his owner moved to Wisconsin territory, a territory that was free under the Missouri compromise. It was in Wisconsin that Dred Scott met and married Harriet Robinson. John Emerson was transferred in 1837 to Ft. Jessup, Louisiana, were he met and married Irene Sandford. Dred Scott and his wife followed Dr. Emerson and his wife from duty station to duty station; they ended up in St. Louis Mo. In May 1840 Dr. Emerson was ordered to war in Florida. Dred Scott remained in St. Louis with his family and Mrs. Emerson. Dr. Emerson returned home after the war, and relocated to Iowa. This time he left the Scotts behind and rented them out. This would be the last time Scott would see Dr. Emerson. Dr. Emerson passed away in 1843, leaving the Scott family to his wife, Irene. In 1846 Dred Scott attempted to buy his freedom from Mrs. Emerson, who refused his offer. With the help and encouragement of John Anderson, their minister, Dred Scott decided to sue.

Dred Scott lost his first case in a lower St. Louis court because he could not prove that he was owned by the Emerson family at all. A second trial took place in January 1850, Dred Scott and his family were declared "Free." Unhappy with the decision, Mrs. Emerson appealed, and in 1852 the Missouri Supreme court reversed the decision. New attorneys were needed because his first attorney had passed away. ...

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...he Supreme Court was also considered the "worst ever rendered" and was overturned by the 13th and 14 amendment to the constitution. They abolished slavery and declared "all persons born in the United States to be citizens of the United States."

The argument of the Dred Scott case was not over human rights, but more of property rights. In the 1800's slaves were considered valuable property, like jewelry or cars. If Dr. Emerson would have driven his Porsche up to Illinois from Missouri, and it is illegal in Illinois to even own a vehicle, could his car be impounded once you returned to Missouri? Today society knows that this type of behavior is unacceptable. We also acknowledge that we as a society have grown and know better than that in this day and age. Americans and our political culture will continue to grow each and everyday, as we learn from our mistakes.
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