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Harriet Robinson Scott
Birth: 1815
Death: Jun. 17, 1876

Former slave Harriet Robinson met her future husband Dred Scott at Fort Snelling, where she had arrived a few years before him. She was the slave of Indian agent Major Lawrence Taliaferro, who brought her from his family's home in Virginia. Slavery wasn't legal in the Wisconsin Territory, where Fort Snelling was located. Because they had lived on free land, Dred and Harriet later decided to sue for their freedom and that of their two daughters. Now living in St. Louis, Harriet was introduced to lawyer Francis Murdoch who had filed petitions for freedom on behalf of slave women before. Most with cases as strong as Harriet's had won their freedom. After Dred's request to buy his family's freedom was denied by their current owner Irene Emerson, Harriet convinced Dred to file petitions in court. On April 6, 1846, two petitions were filed in Missouri Circuit Court in St. Louis—one by Dred Scott and the other by his wife Harriet. About a year later, the cases made their way before a judge. In spite of the fact that former owner Henry Taylor Blow was one of the witnesses who testified on the Scott's behalf, they lost the case. A new trial began in 1850 and the jury declared that Dred and Harriet had been slaves, but were now free. Mrs. Emerson's lawyers immediately filed an appeal. In March 1852, the Missouri Supreme Court declared that the Scott family was slaves. Then Northern lawyer Roswell Field heard about the case. He knew that the U.S. Constitution could be used to protect the Scott family's freedom and that the case could be argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. In May 1854, their suit came before the federal court in St. Louis, where they lost the case. Finally, in 1856, the case reached the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., where the Scott's appeal for liberty was struck down for the final time. Within a few months, their ownership was transferred to from Mrs. Emerson to Taylor Blow, a son of one of the former owners of Dred Scott. He signed freedom papers for the Scott family, but Dred died of tuberculosis not long afterwards. Harriet continued to live in St. Louis, doing laundry and ironing, until her death. (bio by: Connie Nisinger) 
Family links: 
  Dred Scott (1799 - 1858)
Greenwood Cemetery
St. Louis County
Missouri, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Connie Nisinger
Record added: Mar 07, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13558075
Harriet <i>Robinson</i> Scott
Added by: Anthony S
Harriet <i>Robinson</i> Scott
Added by: Connie Nisinger
Harriet <i>Robinson</i> Scott
Added by: Connie Nisinger
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