By Kay

As we celebrate Black History Month in February, we always create some kind of flyer, poster, slide, or advertisement. Have you ever wondered just what some of those images are that we use? Let's take a look at some of the images used in the making of our flyer for Black History Month 2017.

Dred Scott, c. 1799 – September 17, 1858, was an African American slave who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom, and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857. Dred Scott's journey to freedom took 10 years and numerous trials. In the end, the Supreme Court’s majority opinion was written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a staunch supporter of slavery. It stated that because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. The decision also declared the Missouri Compromise of 1820, legislation which restricted slavery in certain territories, to be unconstitutional.

Following the ruling, the Scott family was deeded to Taylor Blow, who freed them on May 26, 1857. Scott worked as a porter in a St. Louis hotel, but his freedom was short-lived. He died from tuberculosis in September 1858. Scott was survived by his wife and his two daughters.
Dred_Scott_photograph_(circa_1857)

For more information about the case, see Missouri Digital Heritage. For more information on Dred Scott and other African American History, visit the PBS Resource Bank. Or read “Mrs. Dred Scott: A Life on Slavery's Frontier,” by Lea VanderVelde.