Today in History–May 21–the Library of Congress features attorney and statesman Reverdy Johnson, born on this day in 1796. Although personally opposed to slavery (he emancipated slaves inherited from his father), Johnson represented the slave-owning defendant in the 1857 Dred Scott U.S. Supreme Court case, which decided that slaves could not be citizens. Learn more about this politician by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access related primary sources.
Reverdy Johnson Was Born from America’s Library
Dred Scott historical newspaper coverage 1847-1857
U.S. Reports: Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1856)
Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Supreme Court & the Politics of Slavery streaming webcast