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March 6, 1857
Dred Scott v. Sandford
The Dred Scott case, was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in which the Court upheld slavery in United States territories. It stated that African Americans were not and could never be citizens of the United States. The decision pushed the country closer to civil war.
Dred Scott was a slave born around 1799 in Southampton County, Virginia, he was owned by John Emerson of Missouri. He was taken by his owners from Missouri, into Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory, where slavery was illegal. After his owners tried to brought him back to Missouri, he sued in court for his freedom and claimed he had automatically been freed and was legally no longer a slave. As result, Scott appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1857, the Supreme Court issued a decision against Dred Scott. The Court ruled that Scott was not an American citizen and he wasn't a citizen of any state.
The decision inflamed the national debate over slavery that led ultimately to the Civil War.
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