Dred Scott: Person or Property?

By Corinne J. Naden; Rose Blue | Go to book overview

FIVe
THE LONG PATH TO JUSTICE

NoT SurPrISInGLY, THere was great joy in the South when Taney read the Court's extreme proslavery position in the case of Dred Scott. The Richmond, Virginia, Enquirer called the Court [a tribunal of jurists, as learned, impartial and unprejudiced as perhaps the world has ever seen.] Meanwhile, the North smouldered with anger. Said the New York Tribune, [Our liberties may be subverted, our rights trampled upon·, the spirit of our institutions utterly disregarded.]

The Dred Scott case did not start the trouble over slavery, but it certainly made the trouble worse. It unleashed a violent reaction from people on both sides. From the press and the pulpit and from the halls of Congress came scathing denunciations of the decision as well as an equally vigorous defense of it. The St. Louis Evening News proclaimed, [The recent Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court has roused the lately torpid Northern pulpit into a factitious frenzy on the stale Negro question, and incited the preachers to a fresh crusade against the Judges.] Henry Ward Beecher's paper, The Independent, regarded Taney's decision as [a concatenation of corrupt opinions and falsehoods] and added that it [out-Herods Herod himself.]

-92-

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Dred Scott: Person or Property?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • One: A Slave Asks for Freedom 7
  • Two: The Way It Was 25
  • A: The Case for Judicial Restraint 50
  • Four: The [Worst] Decision 70
  • Five: The Long Path to Justice 92
  • Timeline 112
  • Notes 115
  • Further Information 118
  • Bibliography 120
  • Index 122
  • About the Authors 128
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