Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
The Supreme Court The Supreme Court - Image of hands holding a gavel.
Check local listings
Home Timeline Games Supreme Court History
SUPREME COURT HISTORY
Law, Power & Personality
Supreme Inspiration
E-Mail this Page Glossary

Seeking Insights in the Great BooksSeeking Insights in the Great Books
The Bible Poetry Greeks & Romans Literature Philosophy Shakespeare Scientists, Futurists & Economists
Greeks and Romans

Slavery
"The first Caesars had scrupulously guarded the distinction of ingenuous and servile birth."
Edward Gibbon

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15
Scott

v.

Sandford
Slavery

Justice Daniel Separate Opinion
1856
Seal Of The Supreme Court
Excerpt:

Gibbon
Gibbon
The proud title of Roman citizen, with the immunities and rights incident thereto, and as contradistinguished alike from the condition of conquered subjects or of the lower grades of native domestic residents, was maintained throughout the duration of the republic, and until a late period of the eastern empire, and at last was in effect destroyed less by an elevation of the inferior classes than by the degradation of the free, and the previous possessors of rights and immunities civil and political, to the indiscriminate abasement incident to absolute and simple despotism.

By the learned and elegant historian of THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, we are told that...

"The first Caesars had scrupulously guarded the distinction of ingenuous and servile birth, which was decided by the condition of the mother. The slaves who were liberated by a generous master immediately entered into the middle class of libertini, or freedmen, but they could never be enfranchised from the duties of obedience and gratitude, whatever were the fruits of their industry, their patron and his family inherited the third part, or even the whole, of their fortune, if they died without children and without a testament." — Edward Gibbon



NEXT BACK