Fought for citizenship of African Americans
Who was Dred Scott?
He was known for unsuccessfully suing for his family's freedom in the Dred Scott vs. Sandford case in 1847. The 10 year legal battle led to extensive media coverage all over the country, creating tension and spreading awareness of slavery. The Dred Scott vs. Sandford case is significant because it contributed to the Civil War and was a prelude to the Emancipation Proclamation and several amendments in the U.S. Constitution.
About His Life
Dred Scott was born a slave in 1799 in Southampton County, Virginia. In 1837, he was married to Harriet Robinson, a fellow slave, who was transferred to Scott's owner after they were married. While on a steamboat, Harriet gave birth to their first child, Eliza. They later had another daughter named Lizzie, as well as two sons who died during infancy. Dred Scott died in 1858 of tuberculosis and was buried in St. Louis.
Dred Scott's Impact
The decision of the court on the Dred Scott case was one of the main catalysts of the American Civil War. The court's decision was that no African American could ever be a legal citizen of the United States, whether or not they reside in a free state.