As emancipation unfolded in the wartime Union, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney’s decision in the Dred Scott case of 1857 always lurked in the background. But soon Taney himself became the issue. More than anyone else, the Chief Justice personified the Slave Power and the hold that it had once had over the national government. Taney’s death in 1864 prompted the publication of articles and pamphlets that vilified the Chief Justice, thus offering a glimpse of how northerners at the time thought about the meaning of emancipation and the Civil War.
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