Dred Scott Fact 1: He was born in Southampton County, Virginia in the United States of America around the year 1799. His exact birth date remains unknown.
Dred Scott Fact 2: He was an African-American man who was born into slavery in Virgina. His owner, also known as his master, was called Peter Blow.
Dred Scott Fact 3: Experts suggest that Dred Scott's real birth name was in fact Sam. It is thought that he had an older brother called Dred and when he died, Sam took over his name.
Dred Scott Fact 4: Peter Blow and his family were located in Huntsville, Alabama. They tried to make a success of farming but their attempts failed.
Dred Scott Fact 5: The Peter Blow family moved to St. Louis, Missouir where they sold Dred Scott to a doctor called John Emerson who was serving in the United States Army.
Dred Scott Fact 6: He fell in love with a slave called Harriet Robinson. Her owner was an army officer known as Major Lawrence Taliaferro. He transferred ownership of Harriet to Dr. John Emerson so that the couple could marry and be together.
Dred Scott Fact 7: Dred Scott and his wife Harriet have four children together; two daughters called Eliza and Lizzie, and two sons who sadly didn't survive infancy.
Dred Scott Fact 8: Dr. John Emerson married Eliza Irene Sanford in February 1838. They moved with Dred and Harriet Scott to Missouri in 1840 and John Emerson left the army in 1842.
Dred Scott Fact 9: Dr. John Emerson died in 1843 and his widow, Eliza, inherited his estate and became the new owner of the Harriet and Dred Scott. She leased the Scotts out as hired slaves for three years following the death of her husband.
Dred Scott Fact 10: He tried to purchase freedom for himself and his family in 1846 but it was refused by Eliza Irene Emerson.
Dred Scott Fact 11: He was desperate to purchase freedom from slavery for his family. As Eliza Irene Emerson had refused to oblige their freedom, he attempted to sue for freedom.
Dred Scott Fact 12: The Dred Scott Case became the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which stated that African Americans, whether enslaved or free, could not be American citizens and as a result, had no standing to sue in federal court.
Dred Scott Fact 13: His attempt to sue for freedom from slavery was turned down in court, even after a retrial where the jury concluded that the Scotts should be freed as they'd been held illegally as slaves. After an appearance by Eliza Irene Emerson, the decision was overruled and the Scotts were returned to her ownership.
Dred Scott Fact 14: Eliza Irene Emerson later married an abolitionist who convinced her to return the Scott family to their original owners, the Blow family, who were now opposed slavery. The Scott family were manumitted by Henry Taylor Blow on May 26th, 1857. The term manumission can be described as the act of a slave owner freeing his/her slaves.
Dred Scott Fact 15: He passed died in September 1858. He was originally buried in a Cemetery in St. Louis which closed down some years later. Taylor Blow had his coffin relocated to a nearby Catholic Cemetery and it has since become a tradition to leave Lincoln pennies on Dred Scott's gravestone for luck. Sadly, he only lived seventeen months of his life as a free man. His wife and two daughters outlived him. Harriet Scott died on June 17th, 1876, eighteen years after the death of her husband.
Short Facts about Dred Scott for Kids
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