The Taney Court (1836–64)


hy did many believe that Dred Scott had a valid claim?

Scott believed he had a valid claim because some courts had adhered to the doctrine of “once free, always free.” This meant that if a slave reached free territory legally, then he or she was free because slavery was outlawed in those jurisdictions. The Missouri courts and the U.S. Supreme Court did not accept that argument, however.


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