Dred scott vs. sanford case essay

The legislation of the States therefore shows in a manner not to be mistaken the inferior and subject condition of that race at the time the Constitution was adopted and long afterwards, throughout the thirteen States by which that instrument was framed, and it is hardly consistent with the respect due to these States to suppose that they regarded at that time as fellow citizens and members of the sovereignty, a class of beings whom they had thus stigmatized, whom, as we are bound out of respect to the State sovereignties to assume they had deemed it just and necessary thus to stigmatize, and upon whom they had impressed such deep and enduring marks of inferiority and degradation, or, that, when they met in convention to form the Constitution, they looked upon them as a portion of their constituents or designed to include them in the provisions so carefully inserted for the security and protection of the liberties and rights of their citizens.

But no one seems to have doubted the correctness of the prevailing opinion of the time. To this plea the plaintiff demurred, and the defendant joined in demurrer.

And this being the case in the present instance, the plea in abatement is necessarily under consideration, and it becomes, therefore, our duty to decide whether the facts stated in the plea are or are not sufficient to show that the plaintiff is not entitled to sue as a citizen in a court of the United States.

Democrats divided over the Dred Scott case. At the trial, grocer Samuel Russell had testified that he was leasing Scott from Irene Emerson, but on cross-examination he admitted that the leasing arrangements had actually been made by his wife Adeline.

Dred scott vs.

Dred Scott Decision

sanford case essay It is suggested, however, that this plea is not before us, and that, as the judgment in the court below on this plea was in favor of the plaintiff, he does not seek to reverse it, or bring it before the court for revision by his writ of error, and also that the defendant waived this defence by pleading over, and thereby admitted the jurisdiction of the court.

Sanford was represented by Reverdy Johnson and Henry S. To all this mass of proof we have still to add, that Congress has repeatedly legislated upon the same construction of the Constitution that we have given.

The law of Dred scott vs. sanford case essay, like the law offorbids the marriage of any white person with any negro, Indian, or mulatto, and inflicts a penalty of fifty pounds upon anyone who shall join them in marriage, and declares all such marriage absolutely null and void, and degrades thus the unhappy issue of the marriage by fixing upon it the stain of bastardy.

They were still in force when the Revolution began, and are a faithful index to the state of feeling towards the class of persons of whom they speak, and of the position they occupied throughout the thirteen colonies, in the eyes and thoughts of the men who framed the Declaration of Independence and established the State Constitutions and Governments.

This, upon any fair construction of the instruments to which we have referred, was evidently the object and purpose of this change of words. It directs that every "free able-bodied white male citizen" shall be enrolled in the militia. And these two provisions show conclusively that neither the description of persons therein referred to nor their descendants were embraced in any of the other provisions of the Constitution, for certainly these two clauses were not intended to confer on them or their posterity the blessings of liberty, or any of the personal rights so carefully provided for the citizen.

The defendant pleaded in abatement to the jurisdiction of the court, that the plaintiff was not a citizen of the State of Missouri, as alleged in his declaration, being a negro of African descent, whose ancestors were of pure African blood and who were brought into this country and sold as slaves.

It becomes necessary, therefore, to determine who were citizens of the several States when the Constitution was adopted.

Three laws, two of which were passed almost immediately after the Government went into operation, will be abundantly sufficient to show this. It will be sufficient, as a sample of the legislation which then generally prevailed throughout the British colonies, to give the laws of two of them, one being still a large slaveholding State and the other the first State in which slavery ceased to exist.

The decision of that question belonged to the political or lawmaking power, to those who formed the sovereignty and framed the Constitution. We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word "citizens" in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States.

And that none of her Majesty's English or Scottish subjects, nor of any other Christian nation, within this province, shall contract matrimony with any negro or mulatto; nor shall any person, duly authorized to solemnize marriage, presume to join any such in marriage, on pain of forfeiting the sum of fifty pounds; one moiety thereof to her Majesty, for and towards the support of the Government within this province, and the other moiety to him or them that shall inform and sue for the same, in any of her Majesty's courts of record within the province, by bill, plaint, or information.

And this being the only matter in dispute on the pleadings, the court must be understood as speaking in this opinion of that class only, that is, of those persons who are the descendants of Africans who were imported into this country and sold as slaves.

The hearsay problem was surmounted by a deposition from Adeline Russell, stating that she had leased the Scotts from Emerson. It was expected that the Scotts would win their freedom with relative ease, since Missouri courts had previously heard more than ten other cases in which they had freed slaves who had been taken into free territory.

The question before us is whether the class of persons described in the plea in abatement compose a portion of this people, and are constituent members of this sovereignty.

Dred Scott Decision

Sandford and entered history with that title. The duty of the court is to interpret the instrument they have framed with the best lights we can obtain on the subject, and to administer it as we find it, according to its true intent and meaning when it was adopted.

And it gave to each citizen rights and privileges outside of his State [p] which he did not before possess, and placed him in every other State upon a perfect equality with its own citizens as to rights of person and rights of property; it made him a citizen of the United States.

It was regarded as an axiom in morals as well as in politics, which no one thought of disputing, or supposed to be open to dispute; and men in every grade and position in society daily and habitually acted upon it in their private pursuits, as well as in matters of public concern, without doubting for a moment the correctness of this opinion.

For then he becomes subject to the laws of the State in which he lives, and he is no longer a citizen of the State from which he removed. It will be observed that, under this Confederation, each State had the right to decide for itself, and in its own tribunals, whom it would acknowledge as a free inhabitant of another State.

However, the legal theories of Nelson and the court were very different. But there are two clauses in the Constitution which point directly and specifically to the negro race as a separate class of persons, and show clearly that they were not regarded as a portion of the people or citizens of the Government then formed.

Scott also lost both of his lawyers, as Alexander Field had moved to Louisiana and David Hall had died. It is very clear, therefore, that no State can, by any act or law of its own, passed since the adoption of the Constitution, introduce a new member into the political community created by the Constitution of the United States.

But there is a difference of language which is worthy of note.

They show that a perpetual and impassable barrier was intended to be erected between the white race and the one which they had reduced to slavery, and governed as subjects with absolute and despotic power, and which they then looked upon as so far below them in the scale of created beings, that intermarriages between white persons and negroes or mulattoes were regarded as unnatural and immoral, and punished as crimes, not only in the parties, but in the person who joined them in marriage.

Justice John McLean dissented, writing that there was no basis for the claim that blacks could not be citizens.

But up to the time of the adoption of the Constitution, there is nothing in the legislation of the State indicating any change of opinion as to the relative rights and position of the white and black races in this country, or indicating that it meant to place the latter, when free, upon a level with its citizens.

No one supposed then that any Indian would ask for, or was capable of enjoying, the privileges of an American citizen, and the word white was not used with any particular reference to them. Douglas ended up opposing it as counter to his doctrine of popular sovereignty.

Visit Website Because Mrs. However, in terms of the practical effect on Scott and his family, it was immaterial as to whether his case was to be dismissed, as ordered by the Supreme Court, or the judgment declaring on the merits that they were all still slaves be affirmed, as Nelson would have held.

It will be observed that the plea applies to that class of persons only whose ancestors were negroes of the African race, and imported into this country and sold and held as slaves.

And still further pursuing its legislation, we find that, in the same statute passed inwhich prohibited the further importation of slaves into the State, there is also a provision by which any negro, Indian, or mulatto servant who was found wandering out of the town or place to which he belonged without a written pass such as is therein described was made liable to be seized by anyone, and taken before the next authority to be examined and delivered up to his master -- who was required to pay the charge which had accrued thereby.

This research paper is an analysis of Dred Scott vs.

Scott v. Sandford

Sanford case, the contents of the case, the incidence s leading to the case, the verdict of the Supreme Court on the case, and declaration of Chief Justice Roger B that only the Whites could be the citizens of the United States.

Sep 12,  · The Dred Scott decision was the culmination of the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, one of the most controversial events preceding the Civil War. Dred Scott was a slave in Missouri. From tohe resided in Illinois (a free state) and in the Louisiana Territory, where slavery was forbidden by the Missouri Compromise of After returning to Missouri, Scott filed suit in Missouri court for his freedom, claiming that his residence in free territory made him a free man.

Sep 12,  · Watch video · The Dred Scott decision was the culmination of the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, one of the most controversial events preceding the Civil War. In Marchthe Supreme Court issued its decision. - Dred Scott Desicion The Dred Scott decision was an important ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States that had a significant influence on the issue of slavery.

The case was decided in and, in effect, declared that no black--free or slave--could claim United States citizenship. Dred Scott vs. Stanford was a landmark Supreme court case that was a major player in the secession of the southern states.

The bravery, courage and determination of Dred Scott was one of the the first steps in a long road to freedom.

Dred scott vs. sanford case essay
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