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Black History Month Spotlight: Dred and Harriet Scott

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Old Court House

On April 6, 1846, Dred and Harriet Scott filed suit against Irene Emerson for their freedom. After being enslaved for 50 years of his life and hired out to other families to help the Emerson family maintain their lifestyle, Dred and Harriet Scott decided to take their freedom and futures into their own hands. This case would become one of the most famous court cases tried in The Old Courthouse.

The Scotts' legal pursuit would inspire more than 300 other enslaved African-Americans to file suit for their freedom and hasten the Civil War, bringing freedom for all. Click here for more information about this historic case.

Watch the video below to learn more about the Dred and Harriet Scott case and other historic cases heard inside the Old Courthouse.