1849 – 1911
In 1853 Roswell served as the attorney for the slaves Dred and Harriet Scott and their daughters, Eliza and Lizzy, when they brought action in federal court for their freedom. The Scotts were denied their freedom on the grounds that African-Americans were not citizens and therefore could not sue in federal court. The refusal of the United States Supreme Court to treat Dred and Harriet as citizens is believed by many to be a factor that precipitated the Civil War.
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