Answer to Question #121273 in History for Daniel Cortez

Question #121273
Why did dread Scott argue that he should be freed from slavery
Expert's answer

To understand the question posed then I have described the man he was, Dred Scott was born into slavery around 1799 in Southampton County, Virginia. In the year 1818, he moved with his owner Peter Blow to Alabama and in 1830 to St. Louis, Missouri which was both slave states-Where peter ran a boarding house. After Peter Blow died in 1832 an army physician by the name of Dr. John Emerson purchased Scott and went with him to the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin and then returning with him to the slave state of Missouri which had outlawed slavery. There he married Harriet Robinson, also a slave in a civil ceremony where her ownership transferred her to Emersion.

           John Emerson’s died in 1843 her wife Irene took ownership of all the slaves, at this time Scott had tried countless times to purchase his freedom from Irene Emersion but she refused at every request. Dred and his wife never run away or sue for freedom even when in and out through the Free states and territories; it’s until 1846 that Dred and his wife decided to file a separate lawsuit for freedom in the St. Louis Circuit Court against the owner Irene Emerson. In this lawsuit one statue did allow for any person of color to sue for wrongful enslavement with another clarified that any person taken to a free territory automatically was free and could not be re-enslaved when returning to a slave state, the more reason Dred Scott argued for his and her wife freedom from slavery was that they lived in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory which were both free domains and hoped they had a persuasive case, but this was not to be as on June 30, 1847, the court ruled against the case on a technicality granting them a retrial.

               Dred Scott would go on to have support from politicians and high profile attorneys in December 1854 appealed his case to the supreme court, the trial would later begin on February 11, 1856, Chief Justice Roger Taney become best known for writing the majority opinion in the case between Dred Scott v. Sanford which he said that the people from African descent were not citizens of the United States,  therefore had no right or the power to sue in federal court and the owners had protection under the Fifth Amendment and slaves were their legal property, the court argued that the Missouri compromise legislation which had been passed to balance the power between slave and non-slave states was unconstitutional this meant that even congress would have no power to stop the spread of slavery, after the ruling, the Chaffee deeded the Scott family to Taylor Blow who manumitted them on may 26,1857. Dred would go on to work as a porter in St Louis hotel, unfortunately, he died the following year that is 1858 and was survived by his wife and two daughters. This case would cause tensions between the northern and southern states, President Abraham Lincoln Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and post-civil war Reconstruction Amendments the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments nullified the decision.

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