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THE DRED SCOTT CASE.- We last week gave the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court upon the slavery question, in the Dred Scott case. The Supreme Court consists of nine judges, vix:- Roger B. Taney of Maryland, John A. Campbell of Alabama, John Catron of Tennessee, James M. Wayne of Georgia, Peter V. Daniel of Virginia, Samuel Nelson of New York, Robert C. Grier of Pennsylvania, John McLean of Ohio, and Benjamin R. Curtis of Massachusetts. The five Judges from the slave Sates, came boldly up to the question of the nationality of Slavery. Judge Nelson and Judge Grier, who are northern dough-faced democrats, dodge the issue, but Judge M'Lean and Judge Curtis, who were formerly whigs, came out boldly and fearlessly for the cause of humanity. Judge M'Lean argued that slavery is limited to the State where it is established by municipal law. If Congress deems slaves or free colored persons injurious to a territory, they have the power to prohibit them from becoming settlers. The power to acquire territory carries the power to govern it. The master does not carry with him to the territory the law of the State from which he removes. Hence, the Missouri Compromise was constitutional, and the presumption is in favor of freedom. Dred Scott and his family were free under the decisions of the last 28 years.

Judge Curtis maintained that the native-born colored persons can be citizens of States and of the United States; that Dred Scott and his family were free when they returned to Missouri; that the power of Congress to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory was not, as the majority of the Court expressed, limited to Territory belonging to the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, but has been applied to five subsequent acquisitions of land; that Congress has the power to exclude Slavery from the Territories, having established eight Territorial governments without, and recognized slavery in six, from the days of Washington to John Quincy Adams.

By the decisions of the majority of the Court, it is decided that the constitution of the United States recognizes property in man, and that under it and by force of it, human Slavery is nationalized, and must be protected and defended in its spread and perpetuation, whithersoever that Constitution is carried is legitimately in force. By this decision the Federal Constitution not only requires that Massachusetts and every other free State shall return the fugitive slave who seeks refuge in her territory, but that if a slaveholder brings into any of her cities or towns a whole retinue of slaves, she shall protect him in his ownership of them, as she would in the ownership of so many horses or oxen. This is to be the doctrine of the present democratic party. It remains to be seen whether the free laborers of the country will sanction it.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: Dred Scott was a slave from Missouri, a slave state. He claimed his freedom in court on the basis of seven years of residence in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin. The case made its way through the court system, finally reaching the United States Supreme Court. This article reports on the Supreme Court's decision, with emphasis on the opinions of two dissenting justices. The decision stated that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional and that negroes were not, and never could be United States citizens. This decision caused great outrage in the North. Northern anti-slavery leaders cited it as evidence that Southerners wanted to extend slavery throughout the nation and ultimately rule the nation itself. The Gazette & Courier was the newspaper in Greenfield, Massachusetts, from July 20, 1841 until June 24, 1932. Before 1841 the newspaper's name changed quite frequently, with Gazette a frequent part of the title.

 

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"The Dred Scott Case" article in the Gazette and Courier newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Courier
date   Mar 16, 1857
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   2.5"
height   10.0"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L05.109


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See Also...

Frederick Douglas refused passport

"The Dred Scott Case" article from the Gazette and Courier newspaper

"The Inaugural"


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