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Report of the Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Opinions of the Judges Thereof, in the Case of Dred Scott versus John F.A. Sandford December Term, 1856.   By:

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[Transcriber's Note: A Table of Contents has been created for the reader's convenience. Minor, obvious printer errors have been corrected without note. Other questionable text is marked by a [Transcriber's Note].]

REPORT

OF

THE DECISION

OF THE

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES,

AND THE

OPINIONS OF THE JUDGES THEREOF,

IN THE CASE OF

DRED SCOTT

VERSUS

JOHN F.A. SANDFORD.

DECEMBER TERM, 1856.

BY BENJAMIN C. HOWARD, FROM THE NINETEENTH VOLUME OF HOWARD'S REPORTS.

WASHINGTON: CORNELIUS WENDELL, PRINTER. 1857.

CONTENTS

Syllabus Mr. Chief Justice Taney (majority opinion) Mr. Justice Wayne (concurrence) Mr. Justice Nelson (concurrence) Mr. Justice Grier (concurrence) Mr. Justice Daniel (concurrence) Mr. Justice Campbell (concurrence) Mr. Justice Catron (concurrence) Mr. Justice McLean (dissent) Mr. Justice Curtis (dissent)

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. DECEMBER TERM, 1856.

DRED SCOTT

VERSUS

JOHN F.A. SANDFORD.

DRED SCOTT, PLAINTIFF IN ERROR, v. JOHN F.A. SANDFORD.

This case was brought up, by writ of error, from the Circuit Court of the United States for the district of Missouri.

It was an action of trespass vi et armis instituted in the Circuit Court by Scott against Sandford.

Prior to the institution of the present suit, an action was brought by Scott for his freedom in the Circuit Court of St. Louis county, (State court,) where there was a verdict and judgment in his favor. On a writ of error to the Supreme Court of the State, the judgment below was reversed, and the case remanded to the Circuit Court, where it was continued to await the decision of the case now in question.

The declaration of Scott contained three counts: one, that Sandford had assaulted the plaintiff; one, that he had assaulted Harriet Scott, his wife; and one, that he had assaulted Eliza Scott and Lizzie Scott, his children.

Sandford appeared, and filed the following plea:

DRED SCOTT } v. } Plea to the jurisdiction of the Court. JOHN F.A. SANFORD. }

APRIL TERM, 1854.

And the said John F.A. Sandford, in his own proper person, comes and says, that this court ought not to have or take further cognisance of the action aforesaid, because he says that said cause of action, and each and every of them, (if any such have accrued to the said Dred Scott,) accrued to the said Dred Scott out of the jurisdiction of this court, and exclusively within the jurisdiction of the courts of the State of Missouri, for that, to wit: the said plaintiff, Dred Scott, is not a citizen of the State of Missouri, as alleged in his declaration, because he is a negro of African descent; his ancestors were of pure African blood, and were brought into this country and sold as negro slaves, and this the said Sandford is ready to verify. Wherefore he prays judgment, whether this court can or will take further cognizance of the action aforesaid.

JOHN F.A. SANDFORD.

To this plea there was a demurrer in the usual form, which was argued in April, 1854, when the court gave judgment that the demurrer should be sustained.

In May, 1854, the defendant, in pursuance of an agreement between counsel, and with the leave of the court, pleaded in bar of the action:

1. Not guilty.

2. That the plaintiff was a negro slave, the lawful property of the defendant, and, as such, the defendant gently laid his hands upon him, and thereby had only restrained him, as the defendant had a right to do.

3. That with respect to the wife and daughters of the plaintiff, in the second and third counts of the declaration mentioned, the defendant had, as to them, only acted in the same manner, and in virtue of the same legal right.

In the first of these pleas, the plaintiff joined issue; and to the second and third, filed replications alleging that the defendant, of his own wrong and without the cause in his second and third pleas alleged, committed the trespasses, &c... Continue reading book >>




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