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Dred Scott filed for his freedom in 1846; a slave seeking freedom from his owner, an army physician in Missouri.  Scott argued that because his owner...


One of the interesting points about the Dred Scott case is that a very similar case occurred in England in the 1770's, known as the Somerset case.  The argument went that Somerset, an African enslaved, brought to the American Colonies, and then transported to England, could not be sold outside of England.  Secondly, a writ of Habeas Corpus was issued to Somerset's owner, to bring the slave to court for legal proceedings, which implied extending that right to an individual -- which once conferred, implied he was no longer a slave!  Somerset became free by virtue of entering England, and remained a free man.

Here the parallel with Dred Scott ends.  Sadly, Scott was still considered property, even after entering free territory, and therefore still had no rights.  The court followed the letter of the law regarding property rights, ignoring the larger legal issue of considering slave being an individual with rights.

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