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Dred Scott v. Sandford

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Property Law Keyed to Singer

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Citation. 60 U.S. 393, 15 L. Ed. 691, 1856 U.S. 19 HOW 393.

Brief Fact Summary. A slave sought his freedom under the Missouri Compromise.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Slaves are not citizens under the United States Constitution.

Facts. Dred Scott (Plaintiff) was a slave living in the slave state of Missouri. His owner took him to Illinois and then to Minnesota, which were both free states under the Missouri Compromise. Plaintiff and his owner returned to Missouri, and Plaintiff was sold to Sanford (Defendant). Plaintiff sued Defendant for his freedom, claiming to be a citizen of Missouri, based on having obtained freedom by domicile for a long period in a free state.

Issue. Can a slave be considered a citizen and as such become entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities granted to citizens under the United States Constitution?

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