Dred scott mock trial



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DRED SCOTT MOCK TRIAL
DRED SCOTT; SUMMARY ROLE SHEET OF PARTICIPANTS –
Remember each of you has information given to you in class (prior to the start of the trial.) Everyone who has not been assigned as a lawyer will serve as paralegals for them.  They will do any research to help the cause.

 

Attorneys for the Plaintiff (Dred Scott) – 4 people will be the attorneys. Each Attorney will work with one of there own witnesses to create questions. Each attorney must cross examine one of the opposition’s witnesses.   Each Attorney must hand in the questions they created as well as an opening statement or a closing statement.

 

Attorneys for the Defense (Sanford and Missouri) - 4 people will be the attorneys. Each Attorney will work with one of there own witnesses to create questions. Each attorney must cross examine one of the opposition’s witnesses.   Each Attorney must hand in the questions they created as well as an opening statement or a closing statement.

 

SUPREME COURT JUSTICES – Must formally write and hand in their opinions in the case.  Chief Justice will run the court room.

 

Clerk of the Court – (must also be a court reporter)



 

WITNESSES

Phineas Loker – Pro slavery minister who knows Dred Scott

 

John C. Calhoun – Southern authority on the constitution



 

Mrs. Emerson Chaffee - owner of Dred Scott

 


 
Dred Scott - a slave 


John Logan - army officer

 

Mr. Calvin Chaffee – Married to the woman who owns Dred Scott


Daniel Webster – Northern authority on the constitution
William Johnson – Judge from the state of Missouri 

 

Each witness must work with lawyers from their side to create questions they will be asked. They should also prepare for a cross examination.  Each witness will also serve as a reporter for the case and must hand in a news report of the event (from the perspective of one of the regional papers).



 

As reporters you should write your article from the perspective of one of the following papers:

1. The Liberator: This paper is the voice of the abolitionists. The editorial would be slanted to make slavery look evil and all those in favor of slavery evil. Dred Scott would be treated like a hero.

2. The Charleston Gazette: This paper would be Pro-Southern. The editorial would be slanted to support Sanford and the state of Missouri. Northerners who would abolish slavery would be treated as villains.

3. The New York Times: This paper deals with facts and does not attempt to support one side or the other.

In writing your editorial you should point out the highlights of the day. (Example: lawyers opening statements, statement of a particular witness, some incident in the court.) You should slant the incident to your point of view.

 

Instead of writing a report you may elect to be a:



COURTROOM ARTIST

Individuals with artistic talent may elect to draw sketches of the trial as it progresses and post them on the bulletin board for the other classes to view. A series of sketches for each session should depict the action of the day in the court. Each drawing should have a caption and your name.

 

CARTOONIST



Individuals may elect to draw political cartoons concerning key issues in the trial. These cartoons can be original or they can be adopted from published newspaper cartoons. Each cartoon should have a caption and your name.
FACT SHEET

Dred Scott vs Stanford

 

     Dred Scott, a slave from Missouri, had been taken by his owner, an army doctor, to the free state of Illinois in 1834. After two years he was taken into the Wisconsin Territory in 1837 where slavery was forbidden under the Missouri Compromise.  Scott and his owner returned to Missouri in 1838 where they stayed for eight years. With the death of his owner, Scott was given to Doctor Emerson's wife and her brother John Sanford. Dred Scott with the urging and assistance of local lawyers in Missouri sued for his freedom. Scott argued that since he had lived in a free state and a free territory, he was free. He won in the lower state courts of Missouri, but lost in the highest state court. Because Mrs. Emerson had remarried and moved to New York, the lawyers for Scott appealed to the federal courts, since the case involved the citizens of two states. In 1857 the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the case.



 

There were two main legal questions in this case:

 

1. Was Dred Scott a citizen of the United States and therefore entitled to bring suit in the federal courts?



 

2. Was he free as a result of having lived in a territory where slavery was outlawed by the Missouri Compromise? Did living in a free state and free territory make him free?


ATTORNEY FOR DRED SCOTT – PLAINTIFF

 

I. Read the fact sheet thoroughly. You will be given a copy of all facts on each witness in the case.



 

2. Your case should rest on the fact that Dred Scott, a Negro slave from Missouri, has been taken by his owner to the free state of Illinois and later to the free soil Territory of "Wisconsin. You have brought suit in the Supreme Court of the United States claiming that residence in a free territory automatically ended Dred Scott's slave status.

 

3. You must present enough evidence, mainly by questioning witnesses, to persuade the court to deliver a verdict against the owners of Dred Scott. Your job consists of four main parts:



            a. an opening statement to the court -- no more than 5 minutes to explain the case to the court and give them a summary of the important facts.

            b. direct examination of your witnesses -- questions are asked to each of your witnesses to bring out the facts which support your case.

            c. cross-examination of the witnesses of the other party -- your aim is to get admissions from an opposing witness that will help your client's case

            d. a closing argument -- 5 minutes to summarize the points made by the witnesses which help your case


4. YOU SHOULD ATTEMPT TO PROVE:

            a. The residence of Dred Scott in a free state, Illinois. Slavery is outlawed in that

state.

b. The residence of Dred Scott in the Territory of Wisconsin. Slavery is outlawed in that territory by the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by an act of Congress. Read the section on the Compromise in your history book, if you are not sure of this issue.



c. Negroes are entitled to United States citizenship and to trial by the Federal courts, since they were citizens in many states when the Constitution was written. Not all Negroes were slaves.

d. The phraseology of the Declaration of Independence includes Negroes in its meaning, therefore Negroes have all the rights of native born citizens.

  

5. YOUR OPPOSITION WILL ATTEMPT TO PROVE:



              a. Federal courts do not have jurisdiction over Dred Scott, because he was not a    citizen of the United States. The Constitution says only citizens may have trials in the Federal Courts (Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1)

              b. Slaves were not, at the time the Constitution was adopted, citizens of any state.

              c. Dred Scott's suit should have never been allowed in federal courts; nor had his presence in a free territory changed his status and given him the right to sue.

              d. Each state has the right to determine for itself the status of a slave – regardless of temporary residence in other areas. Under the Constitution, each state must honor the laws of every other state (Article 4, Section 1). Since Dred Scott lives in Missouri, the laws of that state make him a slave.


 
ATTORNEY FOR JOHN SANFORD AND THE STATE OF MISSOURI—DEFENDANT

 1. Read the fact sheet thoroughly. You will be given a copy of all facts on each witness in the case.


2. Your case should rest on the fact that the federal courts do not have jurisdiction in this case because Dred Scott was not a citizen of the United States and could not be one. Also each state has the right to determine, for itself, the status of a slave - regardless of temporary residence in other areas.
3. You must present enough evidence, mainly by questioning witnesses to persuade the court to deliver a verdict against Dred Scott. Your job consists of four main parts:

            a. an opening statement to the court -- 5 minutes to explain the case to the court and give them a summary of the important facts.

            b. direct examination of your witnesses -- questions are asked to each of your witnesses to bring out the facts which support your case.

            c. cross-examination of the witnesses of the other party -- your aim is to get admissions from the opposing witness that will help your client's case.

            d. a closing argument -- 5 minutes to summarize the points made by the witnesses. which help your case.
4. YOU SHOULD ATTEMPT TO PROVE:

a. Federal courts do not have jurisdiction because Dred Scott was not a citizen of the United States. The Constitution says only citizens may have trials in the federal courts. (see Article 3, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution)

            b. Slaves were not citizens of any state when the Constitution was adopted.

c. Since Dred Scott lives in Missouri, the laws of that state apply to him. Missouri says he is property. He is not a citizen and temporary residence in another state does not make him a citizen. Under the Constitution, each state must honor the laws of every other state (Article 4, Section 1 of the Constitution).

d. Slave property like any other property is protected by the Constitution. An owner of property cannot have his property taken away because he enters another state. His property can only be taken away by due process of law and he must be given just compensation (Amendment 5 of the Constitution).

e. Dred Scott, after living in free territory, went back to Missouri in 1837. He has lived in that state until the trial before the Supreme Court in 1857. He is clearly a resident of Missouri.


5. YOUR OPPOSITION WILL ATTEMPT TO PROVE:

a. The residence of Dred Scott in the free state of Illinois.

b. The residence of Dred Scott in the Territory of Wisconsin. Slavery is outlawed in

that territory by the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by act of Congress.

            c. Negroes are entitled to United States citizenship and to trial by the Federal courts, since they were citizens in many states when the Constitution was written.

            d. The phraseology of the Declaration of Independence includes Negroes in its meaning, therefore Negroes have all the rights of native born citizens.


 WITNESS -- DANIEL WEBSTER, NORTHERN SENATOR

 You will be called by Dred Scott's lawyers as an expert on the Constitution. You have been a United States Senator for over 30 years. You are from Massachusetts, and you are a leader in the movement against the spread of slavery.

The following are questions that could be asked. Try to put these facts in your own words.

 1. Is Dred Scott a citizen of the United States?

The Constitution does not deny citizenship to any person or group of persons. In fact, the Bill of Rights, in Amendments 4, 5, and 6, uses the words "person," "people," and "accused." No one will argue that slaves are not "persons" or "people." They are citizens as far as legal rights are concerned under the Constitution.

 2. Can slaves sue in the federal courts of the United States?

            Yes, any "person" may sue.

 3. Many Southern lawyers claim that slaves were not, at the time the Constitution was adopted, citizens of any state. Therefore, they have only the privileges that the government of their state chooses to grant them. Is this true?

Negroes are entitled to United States citizenship and to trial by the federal courts, since they were citizens in many Northern states when the Constitution was written; and therefore, they were part of the body politic when the federal government was created.

 4. Under the Missouri Compromise, slavery was forbidden in the federal territories north of line 36 degrees 30 minutes. If a slave resided north of that line in a free federal territory, would he be free? (Read about the Missouri Compromise in your text)

Definitely, he would be free; if Congress says no slavery can exist in a territory, then a slave taken there can no longer be a slave. His residence in a free territory would make him free.

 5. The 5th Amendment states in part "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." The Missouri Compromise by creating free territory takes away a man's slave property without due process. Does Congress have the right to do this?

Under Article VI, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution Congress is given the power "to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property . belonging to the United States." Under this section of the Constitution, Congress has the right to exclude slavery from certain federal territory.

 

6. If the State of Missouri says Dred Scott is a slave, and northern lawyers say Scott's presence in free territory made him free, what happens when a state and federal law conflict?



The National Supremacy clause of the Constitution stated in Article 6, states that the Constitution is the "supreme law of the land." When federal and state law conflict, federal law is supreme.

 WITNESS -- JOHN C. CALHOUN, SOUTHERN SENATOR

You will be called by John Sanford and the State of Missouri as an expert on the Constitution. You have been a Southern Senator, Vice President of the United States, and Secretary of War. You have served the United States for 30 years.

The following are questions which you may be asked. Try to put these facts in your own words.

1. Are slaves’ citizens of the United States under the Constitution?

  The Constitution does not automatically make anyone a citizen. The giving of citizenship has always been a state matter. The rights and privileges of citizenship are only given by state governments and varies from state to state. (This trial is taking place before the passage of the 14th Amendment which defines national citizenship)

 2. Many Northern lawyers claim Negroes were citizens of most Northern states when the Constitution was written. If this is true, Negroes are entitled to all the rights and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution. The status of Negroes is not being discussed here; the status of slavery is the issue. No slave had citizenship or took part in the ratification of the Constitution. Slaves, when the constitution was written, were considered property. Slaves have no rights under the federal Constitution and will never have them, until that document is changed.

 3. Is there any statement in the Constitution that would make slavery legal?

Yes! Article 4, Section I of the Constitution says. "Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state." This means that if Dred Scott is a slave under the laws of Missouri, then other states must respect those laws. Another example would be property or marriage contracts made in one state must be honored in other states.

 4. Did the fact that Dred Scott resided in free territory change his status from slave to free?

The Constitution plainly protects property rights in the 5th Amendment. "No person . .  may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall property be taken for public use without just compensation." The Missouri Compromise could not take away property because it is a legislative act and not due process of law. Dred Scott would have to be taken from his owner in a court proceeding. Territories of the U.S. belong to all the people of this nation: to deny a man use or entry into that territory because he carried or brought certain property would be unconstitutional; to deny a man his property simply because he traveled with that property in federal territory is clearly unconstitutional.

DRED SCOTT

Your name is Dred Scott, and you were born around 1795 in Virginia. At the time of this trial you are 62 years old. All your life, you have worked for one person after another. You have never received pay for your work and your masters have never bothered to teach you to read and write. You have no particular skills, and you have always done physical labor.  In 1834, you were sold for $950 to an army doctor as a servant. He took you from the plantation in Virginia to his home in Missouri. Shortly after that he took you to an army post in Illinois; and in 1836, you were taken to Fort Snelling in the Wisconsin Territory by your owner, Doctor Emerson. There, you were allowed to marry. You and your wife had a child which was born in free territory.

In 1837 Doctor Emerson was ordered to return to Missouri by the army. At that time you and your family were taken back to St. Louis, Missouri. You had wanted to stay at Fort Snelling, but Captain Emerson forced you to return with him. You were told, if you refused to go back, Captain Emerson would sell your wife and child. So you went back. Several years after your return to Missouri, Doctor Emerson died. You became the property of Mrs. Emerson and her brother John Sanford. Since that time, Mrs. Emerson has moved to New York to be near her brother, and she has remarried to a Mr. Chaffee: Since both of your owners live in a free state, they can not take you with them. They decided to lease or rent you out to various owners. Most of your masters have been reasonable, but several times you have been cruelly abused. Once you were beaten severely by Mrs. Emerson Chaffee, and then you were put in jail. You have seen many slaves, both male and female, cruelly whipped and beaten by owners for minor offenses. You have also been at auctions and have seen the sale of slave families. Your greatest fear is that your daughter will be sold and taken away from you and your wife.

In 1846, you and your friends were able to raise enough money to start a lawsuit to gain freedom for you and your family. That trial and the many appeals have been going on for ten years.

COLONEL JOHN LOGAN -- WITNESS FOR DRED SCOTT

  You are Colonel John Logan, commanding officer of the United States Army's 30th Medical Detachment. It is your responsibility to supervise medical facilities at various forts in the northwestern United States. Under your orders, Captain Emerson was sent to Rock Island, Illinois and then to Fort Snelling in the Wisconsin Territory. During frequent inspection tours, you have visited in the home of Captain Emerson, and you are familiar with his family. You are a witness to the fact that Dred Scott was in both places for over a year.

  You know that the Emerson’s bought Dred Scott from Elizabeth Blow for $950, in 1834. You also know that when you ordered Captain Emerson to Rock Island, Illinois, he took Dred Scott along as his servant. In 1836 you transferred Captain Emerson to Fort Snelling in the Wisconsin Territory, and you know that he took Dred Scott with him.

  Being a pro-slavery Southerner, you can't understand all the intense feelings raised against slavery. All the Blacks you have seen are lazy and show little intelligence. Most of them lie and steal without any regrets. They act like children who are unable to care for themselves or think on their own. You believe that free Blacks would undoubtedly starve to death. Slavery gives the Blacks food, clothing, shelter, and someone to look after them. You feel, if Dred Scott is given his freedom, he will starve or end up in jail.

 MR. CALVIN CHAFFEE --WITNESS FOR DRED SCOTT

  You will be called as a witness for Dred Scott. His lawyers wish to establish who owns Dred Scott, and if the owners of Scott live in a state which has outlawed slavery. You are one of the owners of Dred Scott, a slave. You married a widow of an army doctor named Emerson. When Captain Emerson died, he left Dred Scott to his wife and her brother, John Sanford, in a trust which stated that Dred Scott could not be sold or given away. After the death of her first husband, Mrs. Emerson had moved to New York to be near her brother. It was there that you met and married Mrs. Emerson. Since the owners of Dred Scott could not take him to a free state, he was leased to a family in Missouri. For the past ten years Scott has worked in Missouri for a number of owners. Your wife and her brother share the money they receive from those who lease Scott. You are a United States Congressman from New York. The people of your district are very much opposed to slavery and so are you. You hope that the courts will free Scott; in fact, you have provided some of the money for his defense. You once said in a speech: "American slavery reduced man, created in the Divine image, to property. It made him a beast of burden in the field of toil, an outcast in social life, a cipher in the courts of law, and a stranger in the house of God. To claim himself, or to sue himself for his own benefit or the benefit of wife or child, was deemed a crime. His master could dispose of his person at will, and of everything acquired by his enforced and unending toil." As a witness, you must oppose slavery every chance you are given.

 MRS. EMERSON CHAFFEE--WITNESS FOR SANFORD AND MISSOURI

  You will be called as a witness for the defense. You are part owner of the slave Dred Scott. You and your brother became owners of Dred Scott when your first husband, Captain Emerson died. In your husband's will, Dred Scott was given in a trust, which prevents you from selling him, or giving him away.

Captain Emerson purchased Dred Scott in 1834 as a servant. Since your husband was an army doctor, you and your family have lived at a number of army posts. In 1834, Captain Emerson was sent to Illinois, and in 1836 he was transferred to Fort Snelling in the Wisconsin Territory. During this tour of duty, Dred Scott accompanied you and your husband. At Fort Snelling your husband allowed Scott to marry. While they were in the free territory of Wisconsin, Scott and his wife had their first child. In 1837, when the army transferred Captain Emerson back to Missouri, Dred Scott objected to returning to slave territory, but in the end he accompanied you back to St. Louis. He has worked for your family for over 18 years since returning from Wisconsin.

You feel that Dred Scott came back to Missouri (a slave state) of his own free will. Since the death of your first husband, Dr. Emerson, and your remarriage, Scott has been nothing but a problem. He refuses to work in the fields, he is lazy, and he often spends his time loafing. In recent years you have "hired him out" to other families, but he never stays long because he won't work. You have had him beaten twice and imprisoned once, but this does not seem to help. .'

You feel that the institution of slavery is necessary, since Blacks are like children and must constantly be supervised. You feel that without slavery most Blacks would starve to death or turn to crime. You know your present husband, Mr. Chaffee disagrees with this point of view, but he has never lived in the South.

 JUDGE WILLIAM JOHNSON -- WITNESS FOR SANFORD AND MISSOURI

 You are the highest ranking judge in the State of Missouri. You will be called to testify for the State of Missouri and John Sanford. Since you are a state judge, you are only familiar with the court decisions about Dred Scott in your state. You are not an expert on federal law or the United States Constitution, and you know nothing about the Dred Scott case in the federal courts.

 In 1850, the Circuit Court of St. Louis, Missouri (a lower court serving a county) held that Dred Scott had become free by living in free territory. That court gave Dred Scott his freedom. The case was appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court, over which you are the Chief Justice. Your court ruled that there could be no trial because under Missouri law, slaves were not citizens, and as non-citizens they could not bring suit in the courts of Missouri; therefore, you dismissed the case and ordered Dred Scott returned tohis masters.

 You feel, that since Dred Scott has lived in Missouri for 18 years after his return from free territory, Missouri has jurisdiction over him. The temporary residence of this slave in a Free State and free territory did not change his status. You feel that laws of Illinois and the Missouri Compromise do not apply in this case, since Dred Scott returned to Missouri and he has lived in your state most of his adult life. Because he lives in Missouri, he is subject to the laws of the state, and your state views him as property, not a citizen.

 REVEREND PHINEAS LOKER -- WITNESS FOR SANFORD AND MISSOURI

 You are the minister of a large church in St. Louis, Missouri. You are familiar with the slave Dred Scott, because he has done yard work around the church for a number of years. You also knew Scott's owner, Captain Emerson and his family, because they attended your church after their return from the Indian Wars in 1838. You know that Northern Abolitionists have hired lawyers for Dred Scott, and that he is attempting to get his freedom through the courts. You feel that Scott should not have his freedom for two reasons.



 First, you know that he came back from free territory with Captain Emerson and his family to a slave state, and that after his return he worked for them as a slave in Missouri for 8 years before he attempted to get his freedom. Secondly, you believe that slavery is justified by the Bible and should be continued, because the Bible is the word of God. Your education has made it clear to you that God intended for there to be two classes -- the rulers and the masses. It was true in Biblical times, and it is true today. It is your opinion that the Whites should rule and the Blacks should stay in their place. The Blacks, by their very nature, are best suited to work and serve others; and the Whites, by their nature, are, suited to think and make the decisions that will carry society nearer to God. You believe that since the Black race has the mentality of children, it is the mission of the White race to guide and direct them. If the Black race becomes unruly and obstinate, it is the duty of the White race to be firm and even punish them as a father would to return to the path of righteousness. In your mind it is very clear: Dred Scott should stay in his place as a slave.


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