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Dred Scott

Dred Scott

Dred Scott was a slave from Virginia who came with his master to Missouri in the 1830s. He was sold to an Army surgeon and for almost three years he lived in Rock Island County in Illinois from 1833 to 1836 and later in Wisconsin. Because Illinois was a free state, Scott sued for his freedom in Federal Court in Missouri and won his case at that level. But when his case was appealed to the US Supreme Court in 1857, his decision was reversed by a vote of 7 to 2. All seven justices in the majority were either appointed by pro-salvery presidents or owned slaves themselves.

Scott was free for the last nine months of his life in 1858 because the white family from Virginia that originally owned him bought him back from the doctor's widow and gave him his freedom. He is buried on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis.

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