Category Court Cases

Cummings v. Missouri

The citation for this case is 71 US 277. This Reconstruction Era case comes to us courtesy of the Missouri Constitution of 1865. Unionists in Missouri were split between conservatives and radicals. The radicals, who wanted to grant civil rights to African-Americans, gained control of the constitutional convention. An abolition clause passed easily, as did […]

Osborn v. Nicholson

The citation for this case is 80 US [13 Wall.] 654. Henry T. Osborn was the plaintiff and Young A. G. Nicholson was the defendant. They lived in Arkansas, and Osborn had sold a 23-year-old enslaved man to Nicholson for $1300 and Nicholson had made out a promissory note, dated March 26, 1861. The bill […]

White v. Hart

The citation for this case is 80 US [13 Wall] 646. This case originated in Georgia [35 GA Reports 270] From the facts of the case, on February 9, 1859 John R. Hart and W. D. Davis [Davis signing as security] signed a promissory note to William White Sr. for $1250 in payment for purchase […]

United States v. Padelford

The citation for this case is 76 US [9 Wall.] 531. This 1870 case arose from the confederate government’s issuing bonds at the beginning of the war. “The first bond issue of the Confederacy was authorized on February 28, 1861. It was in the amount of $15 million, and its sale was accomplished within the year […]

McCulloch v. Maryland

The citation for this case is 17 [4 Wheat] US 316. This 1819 case is a landmark decision. It was argued from 22 February to 3 March 1819 and decided on 6 March 1819 on a 7-0 vote. In one of the most important decisions in the Supreme Court’s history, Chief Justice John Marshall’s ruling […]

Ableman v. Booth and United States v. Booth

The citation for this case is 62 US 506. The case was argued on 19 January 1859 and decided on 7 March 1859 by a 9-0 vote, with Chief Justice Roger B. Taney writing the Court’s opinion. The case came out of Benjamin Garland of Missouri going to Wisconsin to capture an escaped slave named […]

Butler v. Maples

The citation for this case is 76 US [9 Wallace] 766. [See also here.] As the statement of the case tells us, “During the late rebellion, cotton having been an object whose acquisition was desired by the people of the North, its purchase within the Confederate lines was resorted to not unfrequently by a certain […]