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Scott, Dred

b. 1795 - d. 1858

Born into slavery in Virginia, Dred Scott achieved national prominence with the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott decision. When Scott’s first owner died, he was purchased by army surgeon John Emerson, who took him to Illinois and Wisconsin Territory, which prohibited slavery. Scott met and married Harriet Robinson, whose ownership was transferred to Emerson. When the army reassigned Emerson to the South, Scott joined him. After Emerson’s death, his widow hired Scott out to an army captain. Unsuccessful in buying his freedom, Scott sued for his freedom in 1846, claiming it was illegal for him to be held a slave because of his time in Illinois and Wisconsin. After a decade of appeals and court reversals, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people of African ancestry could never be citizens and sue in federal court and that the federal government could not prohibit slavery in the territories. Nine months before Scott’s death, he and Harriet were purchased by his original owner’s sons and set free.

Associated Archive Content : 5 results

A Realistic Look at Race Relations

Dr. King gives the three views one can take regarding the state of race relations: optimism, pessimism, and realistic. Dr. King argues for a realistic stance because America has accomplished much in race relations, but still has a long way to go. He further explains that he thinks segregation is in its last days.

Address by MLK at 47th NAACP Annual Convention

Dr. King addresses the audience at the 47th NAACP annual convention in San Francisco, California. King begins with background information of slavery and its physical and mental effects on Africans, then tells the "Montgomery Story." This story begins with a mental transformation among blacks, which led to the Montgomery boycott. As a result of the boycott, blacks were empowered and began fighting injustice and seeking changes in unfair legislation.

Address by MLK to the Hungry Club

Dr. King addresses the members of The Hungry Club on the dilemma of "Negroes" obtaining complete equality. He refers to several passages from his "I Have a Dream" speech.

Annual Address Delivered at the First Annual Institute on Nonviolence and Social Change

Dr. King's speech at the First Annual Institute of Non-Violence and Social Change addresses many issues regarding the African American. The most recurring issues are of obtaining and maintaining freedom, equality and personal dignity.

Seventh Annual Gandhi Memorial Lecture

Howard University presents Dr. King as its primary speaker for their seventh annual Gandhi Memorial Lecture in 1966. Dr. King traces the slow but meaningful progress society has made from slavery to the current civil rights movement. However, he notes that the present challenges in achieving equality involve not only the silence of individuals of good will but also the conditons that keep the Negro inferior.