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The opinion of Justice Peter V. Daniel of the United States Supreme Court in the famous Dred Scott case.

Daniel, Peter V. (1784-1860)1857-03-07

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Daniel’s original manuscript of his opinion on the Dred Scott case, bound into a book. Daniels, a passionate slavery advocate, argues that slavery had more protection under the Constitution than any other form of property. He supports the majority opinion of Justice Taney, but goes farther, asserting the unconstitutionality of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Contains pencil notes, and numerous insertions and deletions in Daniel’s hand, including slips of paper. With a later title page in another hand. This copy was used by the printers for the official printing of Daniel’s opinion.

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  • Title: The opinion of Justice Peter V. Daniel of the United States Supreme Court in the famous Dred Scott case.
  • Creator: Daniel, Peter V. (1784-1860)
  • Date: 1857-03-07
  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Transcript: To the Declaration in this case the Defendant below, who is also the Defendant in error, pleaded in abatement that the Court could not take cognizance of the cause, because the Plaintiff was not a Citizen of the State of Missouri as averred in the declaration, but was a negro of African descent, and that his Ancestors were of pure African blood, and were brought into this Country and sold as [struck: Slaves] negro slaves... After the decision sustaining the Demurrer, the Defendant in pursuance of a previous agreement between Counsel, and with the leave of the Court, pleased in bar of the action, 1st Not Guilty. 2ndly That the Plaintiff was a negro slave the lawful property of the defendant: and as such, the Defendant gently laid his hands upon him & thereby had only restrained him as the Defendant had a right to do so. 3rdly That with respect to the wife and daughters of the Plaintiff, in the second and third courts of the Declaration, [struck: the] mentioned; the Defendant had as to them, only acted in the same manner, and in virtue of the same legal right.
  • GLC Number: GLC02546p1

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