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Dred Scott v. Sandford

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Court House, St. Louis, Missouri, 1870s.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Irene Emerson appealed the 1850 decision and Dred Scott's case was brought to the Missouri Supreme Court and argued in the court house shown here. In 1852, the Scotts lost both the retrial and their freedom. By this time Emerson's brother, John Sanford, was taking care of her affairs and he was now the owner of the Scott family. Interestingly, Sanford's name was misspelled in the Supreme Court case documents and went down in history as Sandford. Sanford was a New York resident. Because Scott and Sanford lived in different states, Scott was able to re-file the suit in 1853, this time in a federal court. The St. Louis federal court ruled that Scott was still a slave and, once again, Scott appealed the verdict. In 1856, Dred Scott v. Sandford came before the United States Supreme Court for the first time and in February 1857 the case was re-argued in front of the highest court in the country.

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