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“Famous Trials” is a website developed by Professor Douglas O. Linder. It is an educational and non-commercial website maintained at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School. Click on the map to view additional resources related to Dred Scott v. John F.A. Sandford.

Dred Scott was born enslaved in Southampton County, Virginia about 1800. In 1846 he filed a freedom suit in Missouri claiming that having lived for several years in Illinois and Wisconsin Territory where slavery was illegal, he was entitled to his freedom. The case wended its way to the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled against him in 1857. The court decision in Dred Scott v. John F.A. Sandford established that people of African descent could not claim citizenship and as non-citizens they could not bring suit in a federal court. A timeline of events is available on the website.

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