(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
THE DRED SCOTT CASE.- THE MISSOURI RESTRICTION DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL.-
The decision of the United States Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case was delivered
by Chief Justice Taney, on Friday, at Washington. It was a full and elaborate
statement of the views of the court. They have decided the following all-important
1st, Negroes, whether slaves or free, that is, men of the African race, are
not citizens of the United States by the Constitution. 2d, The ordinance of
1787 had no independent constitutional force or legal effect subsequently to
the adoption of the constitution, and could not operate of itself to confer
freedom or citizenship, within the northwest territory, on negroes, not citizens
by the constitution. 3d, the provisions of the act of 1820, commonly called
the Missouri compromise, in so far as it undertook to exclude negro slavery
from, and communicate citizenship to negroes in, the northern part of the Louisiana
cession, was a legislative act exceeding the powers of Congress, and void, and
of no legal effect to that end.
Five Judges, Taney, Campbell, Catron, Wayne and Daniel, concur on the constitutional
point against the Missouri Compromise. Nelson and Grier dodge by adopting the
Missouri decisions for their justification in joining the majority. McLean and
Curtis meet the issue squarely and sustain the jurisdiction of the Court, with
the constitutionality of the Compromise.
Much feeling is excited by this decree, and the opinion is freely expressed
that a new element of sectional strife has been wantonly imposed upon the country.
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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. The court was predominately proslavery with seven of the justices appointed by pro-slavery presidents and five from slave holding families. The Supreme Court's decision written by Chief Justice Roger Taney stated that because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. The decision also declared the Missouri Compromise of 1820, legislation which restricted slavery in certain territories, unconstitutional. 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 from the Gazette and Courier newspaper
| publisher Greenfield Gazette and Mercury
| date Mar 9, 1857
| location Greenfield, Massachusetts
| width 3.25"
| height 4.75"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Newspaper
| accession # #L05.110
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