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Dred Scott v. Sandford

Citation. 60 U.S. 393, 15 L. Ed. 691, 1856 U.S. 472, 19 HOW 393
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Brief Fact Summary.

The Petitioner, Dred Scott (Petitioner), was a slave who was taken to Illinois before the Civil War. He attempted to bring suit in a court of law to establish that he was a citizen of the state of Illinois and a free man.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

The Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional and slaves are property not citizens.


Petitioner was a slave in Missouri and later taken to Illinois. When his owner died, he attempted to sue the executor of the estate, the Respondent Sandford (Respondent), in federal court on the basis of diversity of citizenship.


Is Petitioner a citizen of the United States and entitled to use of the federal court system?


No. The original framers of the United States Constitution (Constitution) were clear in their words and actions. “All men” included the dominant race and not the Africans who were imported as slaves. They are still property as they were originally.


The Supreme Court of the United States (Supreme Court) simply did not recognize slaves as people and did not agree that indentured servitude needed to be eliminated.

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