Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dred Scott Case Collection

In 1846, Dred Scott and his wife Harriet filed suit for their freedom in the St. Louis Circuit Court. This suit began an eleven-year legal fight that ended in the U.S. Supreme Court, which issued a landmark decision declaring that the Scotts remained slaves. This decision contributed to rising tensions between the free and slave states just before the American Civil War. For more information on the history of the case, visit the History of Dred Scott page.

The records displayed in this exhibit document the Scotts' early struggle to gain their freedom through litigation and are the only extant records of this significant case as it was heard in the St. Louis Circuit Court. The original Dred Scott case file is located in the Office of the St. Louis Circuit Clerk.

This collection is an expanded and updated version of the original Dred Scott Case Collection. The collection, was expanded from eighty-five to one hundred and eleven documents, over 400 pages of text. In addition, the collection is now a full-text, searchable resource that represents the full case history of the Dred Scott Case. Please visit the About the Collection page for a complete project history.

Nice site on the famous case, with plenty of links.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I'm glad you all like the site and are finding it useful. We're in the process of expanding our collection of Freedom Suits, of which the Dred Scott case is one, to around 300 cases. If you're interested, you can find more information here.

  2. Thank you for dropping in Tim. Great service you provide by posting all this great information.