Scott Vs. Sanford

by: Katana Lowman

Dates of the trials

The trial cases lasted from February 11th through December 18th in 1856.

What is the issue?

In the early 1800's, an African American named Dred Scott lived his life without being considered a free man, but rather a slave due to unconstitutional reasoning.

Background Knowledge for the case

Dred Scott was a slave who was born in the state of Missouri. He moved to Illinois because it was a "free state". After the Missouri Compromise was declared in 1820, he moved back to Missouri to live what he thought would be a slave- free life. According to the compromise, slavery was not forbidden in Missouri.
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Scott's Claim

Dred Scott claimed that since he once lived in a free state, that he should be considered a free man. However, since he was born a slave in a slave state, and since he currently was living in a slave state, he was still considered a slave.


Scott tried to sue his master but he couldn't due to him being born a slave, and still living in a slave state. Scott was not considered a U.S. citizen, and he didn't have a true "free life". Due to this case, slavery issues between the North and the South got even more conflicted.