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Home > Programs > St. Louis History in Black and White


St. Louis History in Black and White: From Dred Scott to Barack Obama


Dred Scott Case 1847-1858

The Dred Scott decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857 was the culmination of more than a decade of litigation to win their freedom by slaves Dred and Harriet Scott. The legal battle began in St. Louis where the Scotts won an initial victory.  However, the verdict was appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court, where the ruling went against the Scotts. Some brilliant legal maneuvering brought the case to America’s highest court, where the institution of slavery was upheld by denying Dred Scott rights of citizenship.  The final ruling laid some of the groundwork for the Civil War and forever put St. Louis in the forefront of any discussion on civil rights.  Our contributors have closely studied the Scott case.  David Konig is Professor of History and Law at Washington University, and John Baugh is professor of African American Studies, also of Washington University.

Listen to the episode:



David Konig, Professor of History and Law at Washington University

John Baugh, Professor of African American Studies at Washington University



Additional information about this episode:

Expanded Scott history

Detailed Scott history in St. Louis

David Konig biography and photo

John Baugh biography and photo

Ruth Ann Hager biography and photo


Video from Nine Network of Public Media's Living St. Louis:




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