Friday, March 02, 2007

Scott v. Emerson VI: "The Providence of God"

Justice Scott closed with a paean to black slavery as a civilizing and humane institution:
As to the consequences of slavery, they are much more hurtful to the master than the slave. There is no comparison between the slave in the United States and the cruel, uncivilized negro in Africa. When the condition of our slaves is contrasted with the state of their miserable race in Africa; when their civilization, intelligence and instruction in religious truths are considered, and the means now employed to restore them to the country from which they have been torn, bearing with them the blessings of civilized life, we are almost persuaded, that the introduction of slavery amongst us was, in the providence of God, who makes the evil passions of men subservient to His own glory, a means of placing that unhappy race within the pale of civilized nations.

Having justified the institution, Justice Scott imposed it on Dred Scott: "[T]he judgment is reversed, and the cause remanded."

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