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Collaborators for EmancipationAbraham Lincoln and Owen Lovejoy$
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William F. Moore

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038464

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038464.001.0001

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Disputing the Supreme Court Decision, 1857

Disputing the Supreme Court Decision, 1857

(p.51) 4 Disputing the Supreme Court Decision, 1857
Collaborators for Emancipation

William F. Moore

Jane Ann Moore

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Abraham Lincoln and Owen Lovejoy's criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1857 ruling in the case of Dred Scott. The Dred Scott decision, written by Chief Justice Roger Taney, affirmed that slaves were not citizens and indeed “had no rights which a white man was bound to accept.” Lincoln and Lovejoy denounced the Supreme Court's interpretation that the Constitution provided federal authority to reduce human beings to property without rights, accusing it of political abuse of judicial power. This chapter begins with a discussion of the Illinois Supreme Court's previous rulings in connection with the slave transit law, along with Lincoln and Lovejoy's argument that humans could not legally be reduced to property under the Constitution. It then considers the two men's views on religion and politics as well as their response to the Dred Scott decision. It also looks at Lincoln and Lovejoy's preparations for the 1858 elections.

Keywords:   elections, U.S. Supreme Court, Abraham Lincoln, Owen Lovejoy, Dred Scott decision, slaves, Illinois Supreme Court, slave transit law, religion, politics

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