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Redemption SongsSuing for Freedom before Dred Scott$
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Lea VanderVelde

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199927296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199927296.001.0001

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The Three Daughters of Marie Scypion

The Three Daughters of Marie Scypion

(p.39) Chapter 3 The Three Daughters of Marie Scypion
Redemption Songs

Lea VanderVelde

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the case of Marie Scypion’s daughters. The transfer of ownership of slaves from one master to the next involved a chain of titles, with each link in the chain conditioned and qualified by the means deemed legitimate to legally transfer title. The chains of title in the case of Marie Scypion’s daughters were as entangled and attenuated as any chain imaginable. One tangle was changes of sovereigns over the area. Another tangle was that members of the Scypion family were subject to control by so many different owners over their lifetimes. Ultimately the case was decided by the fact that the Scypion sisters’ maternal grandmother, a woman named Mariette, was a member of the Natchez tribe. In October 1834, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that children of maternal Indian descent were free.

Keywords:   freedom suits, slaves, property transfer, chain of title, Indians, Natchez tribe

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