Dred Scott Heritage Foundation to host reconciliation conference

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – A unique history lesson for St. Louisans: descendants of slaves and slave owners will meet face to face not as adversaries, but as united for a common cause.

The Dred Scott 10th Anniversary Reconciliation Conference will celebrate the anniversary of the foundation named in honor of the man who left a lasting legacy.

Dred Scott and his wife, Harriet, sued for their freedom from slavery in 1847.

“They had no idea it was going to take 11 years and five court proceedings to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, where they were told at that time, that they were not citizens. And therefore, have no right to sue in court. And they could not be free,” Lynne Jackson, the great-great granddaughter of Dred Scott, said. “It was a major catalyst for the Civil War and that Civil War ended so slaves would be free. And it was in part as a direct part of Dred and Harriett.”

Descendants of the men who were affected or who were directly involved in the famous 1857 U.S. Supreme Court decision will speak at the event.

Among the participants will be the relatives of the U.S. Supreme Court Justice who read the decision, as well as the original owner of Dred Scott.

“Their ancestors are not them,” Jackson said. “Reconciliation in the 21st century among these descendants is just the antithesis of what our ancestors dealt with.”

It is a time, she said, to reconcile, and reflect.

“It’s a never-ending story is what I call it,” Jackson said.

Jackson founded the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation ten years ago.

The conference will take place at the Frontenac Hilton Saturday, December 3 from 8:30 am to 4 pm.

The registration fee is $75. Registration can be made at www.thedredscottfoundation.org. For more information, call 314-532-5613.