Volume > Issue > The Person & the Court

The Person & the Court

DRED SCOT & ROE V. WADE

By Timothy P. Collins | April 2006
Timothy P. Collins, M.D., is Board Certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, and a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists.

In 1833 a surgeon in the U.S. Army, Dr. John Emerson, residing in St. Louis, Mo., purchased from one Peter Blow a piece of property with the name of Dred Scott. Scott was a black man of African descent, and he was at that time about 33 years old. He had been born in Virginia in 1799, born a slave to the Blow family.

Now this was not, of course, unusual in those days. A slave was a valuable asset. In large numbers, they were primarily property of the wealthy, but certainly those of solid middle-class means could afford to own one or two. Slaves were major assets, not unlike large farm animals of the day, or expensive machinery of our own time. They were elements of status, but more than that, they were expected to produce income for their owners. Though human, they were nevertheless property and they were treated and disposed of as such. Their humanity wasn’t the issue. The issue was whether these humans, these people, had any rights or protections under the laws of the U.S., or whether they were merely property, to be dealt with as such. No, said the U.S. Supreme Court, black Africans, or blacks of African descent, slave or free, cannot be citizens, cannot sue in Federal courts, have no rights and no protections under the laws of the land. This decision was settled law.

Enjoyed reading this?

READ MORE! REGISTER TODAY

SUBSCRIBE

You May Also Enjoy

The Prayers of Moloch's Modern Priestesses

Moloch's modern priestesses, who can be found roaming the American halls of power, recast abortion as sacrosanct and inviolable -- a right protected and made possible by the benevolence of an ambiguous deity.

The Orientalism of Barack Obama

Modern-day American "anti-colonialism" is composed mostly of neo-Marxism mixed with a smidgen of post-Victorian disillusionment.

Pro-Abortion & Anti-War?

If you are anti-war and pro-abortion, and you won't recognize that you are making war on the unborn, you are not really anti-war.