Dred Scott Petition Transcript

Dred Scott Petition – Front

To the Hon. John M. Krum, Judge of the St. Louis Circuit Court.Dred Scott, a man of color, respectfully states to your honor, that he is claimed as a slave by one Irene Emerson, of the County of St. Louis, State of Missouri, widow of the late Dr John Emerson, who at the time of his death was a surgeon in the United States army.

That the said Dr. John Emerson, purchased your petitioner in the city of St. Louis, about nine years ago, he then being a slave from one Peter Blow now deceased, and took petitioner with him to Rock Island in the State of Illinois, and then kept petitioner to labor and service, in attendance upon said Emerson, for about two years and six months, he the said Emerson being attached to the United States troops there stationed as surgeon. That after remaining at the place last named for about the period aforesaid, said Emerson was removed from the garrison at Rock Island aforesaid, to Fort Snelling on the St. Peters river in the territory of Iowa, and took petitioner with him at which latter place he petitioner continued to remain in attendance upon said Dr. John Emerson doing labor and service, for a period of about five years. That after the lapse of the period last named, said Emerson was ordered to Florida, and proceeding there left petitioner at Jefferson Barracks in the County of St. Louis aforesaid in charge of one Capt. Bainbridge, to whom said Emerson hired Petitioner—That said Emerson is now dead, and his widow the said Irene claims petitioner’s services as a slave, and as his owner, but believing that under this state of fact, that he is entitled to his freedom he prays your honor to allow him to sue said Irene Emerson in said Court, in order to establish his right to freedom [then will pray be.]

Dred + Scott

Dred Petition – Back

State of Missouri Dred Scott being sworn says that the facts set forth in the forgoing petition are true
St. Louis County

Sworn to

Dred + of color

The 6th day of Apl 1846
before the undersigned judge


The judge of the St.Louis Circuit Court grants the petitioner leave to sue [ etc. as prayed for,] and orders:

First, that the petitioner Dred Scott be allowed to sue, on giving security satisfactory to the Clerk, for all costs that may be assigned against him.

Second, that said Dred Scott have reasonable liberty to attend his counsel and the Court, as occasion may require; and that he be not removed out of the jurisdiction of the Court, and that he be not subject to any security on account of his application for freedom

John M. Krum

Judge, St. Louis Circit Court

Last updated: September 19, 2023

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