Documents Related to the Dred Scott Decision, 1857
@ Maine State Archives
DescriptionResponse of the Maine Legislature to the Supreme Court decision in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393. The court held that Scott was not free because being black he was not considered a person under the U.S. Constitution, declaring that no slave or descendant of a slave could be a U.S. citizen. As a non-citizen, the court stated, Scott had no rights and could not sue in a Federal Court and must remain a slave. In addition, this decision declared that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional and that Congress did not have the authority to prohibit slavery in the territories. The Dred Scott decision was overturned by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.