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    Sale 2068 | Lot 24
    Price Realized: $633With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
    • Sale 2068 Lot 24

      UNITED STATES VERSUS AMY (CRIME.) Mail Robbery by a Slave [in] The Quarterly Law Journal, Vol. IV, No. 3, [163]-202. 8vo, brick-red wrappers [replacing the presumed original wrappers] lightly worn; label up the spine. Richmond, July 1859
      Estimate $1,000-1,500

      rare circuit court case. A slave named Amy stole a letter, written by her master from the mail. She was arrested under Section 22 of the Act of Congress passed March 3d, 1825 which provides that "Any person shall steal a letter from the mail, the offender shall, upon conviction, be imprisoned not less than two years. . ." The defense held that the word "person" as used in the Constitution of the United States to describe a citizen, did not apply to a slave, as defined in the Dred Scott Case of 1857 and asked for a motion to dismiss.
      The judge hearing both cases was Roger Brooke Taney, chief justice of the Supreme Court, who also served here as circuit court judge. It was Taney who declared that Dred Scott was essentially not a person, because he was black, and not a citizen. In this case however, Taney refused to hear the defense's motion to dismiss.


      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $633