March 6

March 6, 1857 – Dred Scott Decision

On March 6, 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Dred Scott when it issued the Dred Scott decision.

DredScott

Dred Scott

In Dred Scott v. Sandford, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that enslaved or free African Americans could not be American citizens. The 7-2 decision by the nation’s highest court defeated Scott’s suit to acquire his freedom along with that of his wife and two daughters. His owners had taken him to free states and territories.

HarrietScott1857

Harriet Scott, wife of Dred Scott. June 27, 1857

Although, this was a monumental loss for millions of American slaves, later rulings gave African Americans equal protection under the law and full citizenship (The Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution).

Dred & Harriet Scott Quarters

Restored quarters believed to have been occupied by Dred & Harriet Scott 1836–1840, Fort Snelling, Minnesota, USA