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Dred Scott

Dred Scott (ca. 1799 - September 17, 1858) was a slave who sued unsuccessfully for his freedom in the famous lawsuit Dred Scott v. Sandford which bears his name. His case was based on the fact that he and his wife Harriet had once lived, while slaves, in states and territories where slavery was illegal, including Illinois and parts of the Louisiana Purchase. The court ruled 7 to 2 against Scott, stating that slaves were property, and the court could not deprive people of their property without due process of law according to the Fifth Amendment. This case was one of the major factors leading to the American Civil War.

Some years after the case, Scott was returned to his original owners, who granted him his freedom less than a year and a half before his death.

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