When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 31, 2020
Dred Scott was a slave who'd been taken from Missouri, a slave state, to Illinois, a free one. Yet he remained in bondage. In 1846 Scott sued for freedom from enslavement for himself and his wife Harriet, arguing that his two years of residing in a free state should make him a citizen under the doctrine of "once free, always free." The case was fought in various courts from 1846 to 1857, with victories and setbacks along the way. After the Scotts' patron could no longer pay their legal fees, St. Louis attorney Roswell Field took the case pro bono and continued the fight to win the Scotts' freedom. It was an unpopular cause in Missouri, but the Scotts' eventual defeat helped further stiffen the spine of the abolitionist cause. Roswell Field's home is now the Field House Museum, which opens its new exhibition, Foundations of Freedom, in honor of Black History Month. The exhibit tells the story of the Scotts' long legal struggle, other freedom suits and the national conversation about the legality of slavery in the nineteenth century. Foundations of Freedom opens Saturday, February 2, at the Field House Museum (634 South Broadway; www.eugenefieldhouse.org). It remains on display through January 31, 2020, and the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 to $10.