New Virtual Exhibit Features Original Dred Scott Decision.

Enter into the fascinating world of philanthropist and SCHS Vice President Dorothy Tapper Goldman’s collection—including constitutions from the federal and state levels—at https://colonistscitizensconstitutions.org/ The site takes you on a virtual tour of the exhibit Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions: Creating the American Republic that opened in February at the New-York Historical Society (now closed during the pandemic). Goldman's documents include The Stamp Act of 1765, The Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776, Constitution of the Republic of Texas, 1836, Choctaw Nation Constitution, 1838, and The Constitution of the Confederate States, 1861 and a rare, privately owned copy of the original 1787 U.S. Constitution. Weaving both well-known and less familiar documents into a compelling narrative, the exhibit is beautiful designed and includes audio descriptions of the documents and books.

Of particular note to Supreme Court historians, is the original 1857 opinion by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in Dred Scott v. Sanford, which can be viewed at https://colonistscitizensconstitutions.org/virtual-exhibition/ In what is perhaps the most infamous case in its history, the Supreme Court decided in Dred Scott that all people of African ancestry--slaves as well as those who were free--could never become citizens of the United States and therefore could not sue in federal court. The Court also ruled that the federal government did not have the power to prohibit slavery in its territories.