On March 6, 1857, in its Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court held that Scott, a slave, could not sue for his freedom in a federal court.
The opinion of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case was delivered by Chief Justice Taney. It was a full and elaborate statement of the views of the Court. They have decided the following important points:
First – Negroes, whether slaves or free, that is, men of the African race, are not citizens of the United States by the Constitution.
Second – The Ordinance of 1787 had no independent constitutional force or legal effect subsequently to the adoption of the Constitution, and could not operate of itself to confer freedom or citizenship within the Northwest Territory on negroes not citizens by the Constitution.
Third – The provisions of the Act of 1820, commonly called the Missouri Compromise, in so far as it undertook to exclude negro slavery from, and communicate freedom and citizenship to, negroes in the northern part of the Louisiana cession, was a Legislative act exceeding the powers of Congress, and void, and of no legal effect to that end.
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On Sept. 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in rebel states should be free as of Jan. 1, 1863.
That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all person held as slaves within any State, or any designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever, free;
Posted in Black History, History, Slavery
Tagged 1862, 1863, Emancipation Proclamation, Free, Front Page, New York Times, President Lincoln, Slavery, Slaves
“I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!”
Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31.
THE PASSAGE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
The great feature of the existing rebellion was the passage to-day by the House of Representatives of the resolutions submitting to the Legislatures of the several States an amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery. It was an epoch in the history of the country, and will be remembered by the members of the House and spectators present as an event in their lives. At 3 o’clock, by general consent, all discussion having ceased, the preliminary votes to reconsider and second the demand for the previous question were agreed to by a vote of 113 yeas, to 58 nays; and amid profound silence the Speaker announced that the yeas and nays would be taken directly upon the pending proposition. During the call, when prominent Democrats voted aye, there was suppressed evidence of applause and gratification exhibited in the galleries, but it was evident that the great interest centered entirely upon the final result, and when the presiding officer announced that the resolution was agreed to by yeas 119, nays 56, the enthusiasm of all present, save a few disappointed politicians, knew no bounds, and for several moments the scene was grand and beyond description. No attempt was made to suppress the applause which came from all sides, every one feeling that the occasion justified the fullest expression of approbation and joy. (SOURCE)