Secession Era Editorials Project
THE DRED SCOTT CASE.
Virginia, Enquirer [Democratic]
(10 March 1857)
In anticipation of the definitive decision of the Supreme Court of
the United States in the Dred Scott case some months or
more ago, its adjudication was announced through a respectable proportion of
the press, emanating, we do not now recollect precisely, whence or how; but, as
the sequel shows, not from mere conjecture, or without reliable data, for it
was then stated that seven of the nine judges constituting the court, agreed on
the opinion that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional, and
consequently, that the rights originating in it and under it, were even
factitious and ineffective.
And it will be seen by the authentic annunciation of the grave and
deliberate decision of that august body, in another column, that what was rumor
then is reality now.
-- Thus has a politico-legal question, involving others of deep import,
been decided emphatically in favor of the advocates and supporters of the
Constitution and the Union, the equality of the States
and the rights of the South, in contradistinction to and in
repudiation of the diabolical doctrines inculcated by factionists and
fanatics; and that too by a tribunal of jurists, as learned, impartial and
unprejudiced as perhaps the world has ever seen.
A prize, for which the athletes of the nation have often wrestled in the
halls of Congress, has been awarded at last, by the proper umpire,
to those who have justly won it.
The nation has achieved a triumph, sectionalism
has been rebuked, and abolitionism has been staggered
Another supporting pillar has been added to our institutions; the
assailants of the South and enemies of the Union have
been driven from their point d'appui; a patriotic
principle has been pronounced; a great, national, conservative, union saving
sentiment has been proclaimed.
An adjudication of the constitutionality of the Missouri
Compromise, in the Dred Scott case, inseparably embraced
collateral questions of such character, as also to involve incidental issues,
not unfrequently arising in the councils of the country, and which have ever
proved, points of irreconcilable antagonism between the friends and enemies of
the institutions of the South; all of which, it will be seen, have
been uneqivocally established in accordance with the sense of the Southern
And thus it is, that reason and right, justice and truth, always triumph
over passion and prejudice, ignorance and envy, when submitted to the
deliberations of honest and able men: that the dross and the genuine metal are
separated when the ore is accurately assayed.
This document was produced as part of a document analysis project
by Lloyd Benson, Department of History, Furman University.
(Proofing info: Entered and proofed by Lloyd Benson.)
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