Scott, Dred

Scott, Dred

(c. 1795–1858) slave, plaintiff; born in Southampton County, Va. After 1827 he lived mostly in St. Louis, being passed among various owners. In a historic test case he sued for his freedom based on a five-year residence in free territories, but the Supreme Court ruled against him (1857). Freed later that year, he became a hotel porter and a minor celebrity in St. Louis.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.