Remembering Dred Scott on Juneteenth at Gateway Arch in St. Louis

June 19, 2021

At the moment is Juneteenth, our latest nationwide vacation, which commemorates the tip of slavery. Brief for June nineteenth, Juneteenth has lengthy been celebrated by African American communities in Texas. On June 19, 1865, enslaved folks in Texas have been lastly informed, two months after the Civil Conflict had ended, that they have been free.

The Outdated Courthouse in St. Louis, as seen from the bottom of Gateway Arch

It appears acceptable on today to share images from my latest go to to Gateway Arch Nationwide Park in St. Louis, Missouri. Why? As a result of at St. Louis’s Outdated Courthouse, which faces the Arch throughout a inexperienced plaza, an enslaved man named Dred Scott famously sued for his freedom in 1846, hoping to free not solely himself however his spouse, Harriet, and their kids.

A statue of Dred and Harriet Scott by sculptor Harry Weber

Dred Scott’s case went all the best way to the U.S. Supreme Courtroom, which dominated in 1857 that this was a problem of property rights, not human rights, and that Black Individuals weren’t and by no means might be U.S. residents, with all of the rights that entails. This gross injustice galvanized Northerners and helped usher within the Civil Conflict, finally resulting in the tip of slavery for all Black Individuals.

At the moment Dred and Harriet are memorialized in a bronze statue that stands on the nook of the Outdated Courthouse.

A plaque explains the importance of the case and the Scotts’ brave struggle for his or her freedom.

The shameful legacy of slavery hangs over us all to today. However within the story of Dred and Harriet, we will acknowledge the braveness and tenacity of two Individuals whose struggle for liberty, although unsuccessful within the courts, helped result in momentous change.

The St. Louis Arch and customer heart within the foreground. (Excuse the wavy-looking arch, because of consumer error whereas taking pictures in panoramic mode.)

I’m pondering of them this Juneteenth.

Up subsequent: A tour of St. Louis’s acclaimed Missouri Botanical Backyard.

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