Posted by Scott Marsden on August 08, 2000
In Reply to: Scott Free still never addressed posted by Dave Davis on August 07, 2000
: Does anyone know? If Scott Free didn't originate from the Dred Scott case, where IS it from?
For those who don't know... The Dred Scott case was decided in 1857 by the US Supreme Court, and involved Dred Scott, an African-American slave. Scott's master had died, and abolitionists argued that seeing as how Scott lived (with his master) in free states for some time before returning to a slave state, he could petition for freedom.
Scott lost the decision, and not only that, the Supreme Court decided that slaves, or even the descendents of slaves, were not and could never be US citizens.
Nonetheless, Scott was freed only a few months after the decision was passed down. His master's wife remarried a congressman opposed to slavery, and they took actions that led him to freedom. It was short-lived, though -- he died a little more than a year later of TB.
It's hard to see how the phrase came from the case, because the case not only didn't let Scott free, it tightened the bonds on millions of others!