Dred Scott was an enslaved African-American man in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife, Harriet, and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as the "Dred Scott decision". Scott claimed that he and his wife should be granted their freedom because they had lived in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory for four years, where slavery was illegal and their laws said that slaveholders gave up their rights to slaves if they stayed for an extended period.
In a landmark case, the United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott's temporary residence outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation under the Missouri Compromise, as the court ruled this to have been unconstitutional, as it would "improperly deprive Scott's owner of his legal property".
While Chief Justice Roger B.