• in 1857, northerners who opposed slavery received another shock when the supreme court ruled against a slave named dred scott who was suing for his freedom. scott's owners had brought him with them from the south to a northern free state to live. the court declared that it did not matter whether scott lived in a slave state or a free state, because slaves were property and owners could take their property wherever they pleased.

    most southerners were happy with the ruling, which meant that slavery could be extended into any territory, whether voters approved of it or not.

    dred scott and his family, pictured in a newspaper article about the case.