MD -- Annapolis -- State Capitol -- Roger B. Taney Sculpture:
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RTS_031102_01.JPG: Roger Brooke Taney is an unusual man to have a statue out here. He is best known as the Supreme Court Chief Justice who issued the verdict in the Dred Scott case. But he'd been involved in government since 1799 and was a brilliant orator who promoted legislation protecting the rights of blacks, both free and slave. He joined the Jacksonian Democrats, serving as Jackson's attorney general (1831-33) and Treasury Secretary (1833-34). In 1836, he was confirmed as Supreme Court chief justice. As the Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War says:
Taney's Southern background invited charges of favoritism toward the slave states, but he based his judicial opinions on Constitutional interpretations that he felt reduced the threat to the Union in the tense antebellum years. On issues such as control of inland waters, he supported extended federal authority, but he did not believe the US Constitution gave Congress the power to exclude slavery from the territories. Early in his career, Taney had manumitted his own slaves and supported the colonization movement, believing that blacks and whites could not live together as equals. Though preferring some form of compensated emancipation, he felt that slavery must exist in the US as long as blacks remained in the country, and he opposed Northern interference with the South's "particular institution."
In 1857, he declared the majority opinion in the Dred Scott Case, overturning a Missouri state court decision granting freedom to Scott, whose former master had taken him to free territory. In reversing the lower court's ruling, Taney argued that as a slave, Scott was not a citizen and therefore could not sue for his freedom in a Federal court. He also took his opinion beyond the concerns of the case by declaring unconstitutional the prohibition on slavery in US territories. Republicans and abolitionists were embittered by the decision, which nullified the Missouri Compromise and stripped blacks of all rights.
Dred Scott became one of the principal causes of the Civil War...
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2003 photos: Equipment this year: I decided my Epson digital camera wasn't quite enough for what I wanted. Since I already had Compact Flash chips for it, I had to find another camera which used CF chips. That brought me to buy the Fujifilm S602 Zoom in March 2003. A great digital camera, I used it exclusively for an entire year.
Trips this year: Three-week trip this year out west, mostly in Utah.
Number of photos taken this year: 68,000.
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