Dred Scott was born as a slave in Virginia. In 1820, he came to Florence with the Peter Blow family. Seven years later, the Blow's Inn was established and Scott served as a stable hand. In 1830, the Blow family relocated to St. Louis, Missouri and Dred was sold to Dr. John Emerson. After Emerson's death, Dred Scott sued for his freedom. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was heard in 1857. Supreme Justice Roger Taney and the majority of the Supreme Court decided that persons of African descent had no legal standing and thus, were not citizens of the United States. The decision was a major catalyst for the abolition movement.
Ashley Pentecost, University of North Alabama
University of North Alabama archives; florenceal.gov
Alabama cultural resource survey
Early nineteenth century