Where to Learn More

Maddex, Jack P., Jr. The Reconstruction of Edward A. Pollard: A Rebel's Conversion to Postbellum Unionism. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1974.

Pollard, Edward A. Letters of a Southern Spy. E. W. Ayres, 1861.

Pollard, Edward A. The Lost Cause. New York: E. B. Treat, 1866. Reprint, New York: Gramercy Press, 1994.

Wakelyn, Jon L. "Edward Alfred Pollard" in Leaders of the American Civil War. Edited by Jon L. Wakelyn and Charles F. Ritter. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Dred Scott

Born 1795? Southampton County, Virginia Died September 17, 1858 St. Louis, Missouri

Slave who sued unsuccessfully to obtain his freedom

The U.S. Supreme Court's controversial ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford increased the hostility between North and South that led to the Civil War

Dred Scott

Born 1795? Southampton County, Virginia Died September 17, 1858 St. Louis, Missouri

Dred Scott was a slave who challenged the institution of slavery in court. He filed a lawsuit arguing that he should be free since his master had taken him to live in free territory for several years. The historic case, known as Dred Scott v. Sandford, made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857. At this time, the Northern and Southern halves of the country were involved in a fierce debate about slavery and the extent to which the government should be allowed to control it.

The Supreme Court ruled that black Americans did not have the rights of citizens, so Scott was not entitled to file his lawsuit. The sweeping ruling also said that the U.S. government could not limit the spread of slavery to new states and territories—or even prevent people from holding slaves in free states—because the Constitution does not allow the government to deprive citizens of their property. The court's decision upset many people in the North, but thrilled many people in the South. It also increased the hostile (unfriendly) feelings between the two sections of the country that led to the Civil War a few years later.

Dred Scott v. Sandford placed the entire institution of slavery on trial.

Dred Scott. (Courtesy of the Library of Congress.)

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