Former slave Dred Scott has been inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians.
In1846 he filed a lawsuit in St. Louis seeking his freedom, after his master had moved him to Illinois, a free state. Following an 11-year legal battle, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857 ruled against him, stating that black people were not U.S. citizens and did not have the right to sue. The decision added to tensions that eventually led to the U.S. Civil War. Lane Jackson is Scott’s great-great-great granddaughter.
“I don’t have to tell you how risky and how poorly that was looked upon, to sue your owners back in that day, although many people attempted it," Jackson said. "It divided their family, and (their) girls were hidden away for at least a year and maybe two, and that was quite a sacrifice on their part as well.”
A bust of Dred Scott was unveiled today during a ceremony in the Missouri House chambers. It will be permanently on display in the Third Floor Rotunda of the Missouri Capitol.