Today in History: Reverdy Johnson

Reverdy Johnson: Civil War photograph album, ca. 1861-65
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

Reverdy Johnson books, speeches & correspondence

More Reverdy Johnson correspondence

Reverdy Johnson historical newspaper coverage

Reverdy Johnson image set

Dred Scott primary source set

Dred Scott historical newspaper coverage 1847-1857

U.S. Reports: Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1856)

Report of the decision of the Supreme court of the United States, and the opinions of the judges thereof, in the case of Dred Scott versus John F.A. Sandford December term, 1856

The Dred Scott decision: opinion of Chief Justice Taney

Historical and legal examination of that part of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott case

Dred Scott v. Sandord: selected primary sources

Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Supreme Court & the Politics of Slavery streaming webcast