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Dred Scott exhibit comes to St. Louis law library

“Faces of Dred Scott,” a public exhibit of artwork depicting Dred Scott and his family, is coming to the Civil Courts Law Library in downtown St. Louis.

The Law Library Association of Saint Louis, a sponsor for the exhibition, described it as a “fun, thoughtful, historical, original and surprising” collection about the plaintiff in the infamous U.S. Supreme Court case Dred Scott v. Sanford, the 1857 ruling that a slave who had resided in a free state and territory was not entitled to his freedom.

The items shown in this exhibit have been curated by Lynne M. Jackson, the great-great-granddaughter of Dred and Harriet Scott and the president and founder of the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation, which is presenting the exhibit along with sponsors including Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and Mound City Bar Association.

Jackson said the collection ranges from a political cartoon of Scott to commissions as recent as last year, including a large mosaic created by three people finishing high school in Green Hill Academy, a juvenile maximum-security facility in Washington.

“It can definitely give people different aspects of who Dred Scott might have been as far as other people might have envisioned him,” Jackson said. “But I think that in all cases, they see someone who was defiant and courageous.”

The exhibit opens on March 7, one day after the 165th anniversary of the Dred Scott decision. Speakers include Jackson and St. Louis Circuit Judge David Mason. It runs through April 4. More information is at

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