[Illustration: Samuel Nelson.]
----------  The declaration in the case of Dred Scott vs. John F.A. Sandford was filed in the clerk’s office of the Circuit Court of the United States for the district of Missouri on the second day of November, 1853. The trespass complained of is alleged to have occurred on the first day of January, 1853.—Manuscript Records of the Supreme Court of the United States.
 At the first hearing Montgomery Blair argued the case for Dred Scott, and Senator Geyer, of Missouri, and ex-Attorney-General Reverdy Johnson, of Maryland, for the claimant. At the second hearing Mr. Blair and George Ticknor Curtis, of Boston, argued the case on behalf of Dred Scott, and Mr. Greyer and Mr. Johnson again made the argument for the claimant. All of them performed the service without compensation.
 “The court will not decide the question of the Missouri Compromise line—a majority of the judges being of opinion that it is not necessary to do so. (This is confidential.) The one engrossing subject in both Houses of Congress and with all the members is the Presidency; and upon this everything done and omitted, except the most ordinary necessities of the country, depends.”—[Letter of Justice Curtis to Mr. Ticknor, April 8, 1856. G.T. Curtis, “Life of B.R. Curtis,” Vol. I., p. 180.]
 A striking example may be found in the utterance of Attorney-General Caleb Cushing, of the retiring Pierce Administration, in a little parting address to the Supreme Court, March 4, 1857:
“Yours is not the gauntleted hand of the soldier, nor yours the voice which commands armies, rules cabinets, or leads senates; but though you are none of these, yet you are backed by all of them. Theirs is the external power which sustains your moral authority; you are the incarnate mind of the political body of the nation. In the complex institutions of our country you are the pivot point upon which the rights and liberties of all, government and people alike, turn; or, rather, you are the central light of constitutional wisdom around which they perpetually revolve. Long may this court retain the confidence of our country as the great conservators, not of the private peace only, but of the sanctity and integrity of the Constitution.”—“National Intelligencer,” March 5, 1857.
 “Mr. Buchanan was also preparing his inaugural address with his usual care and painstaking, and I copied his drafts and recopied them until he had prepared it to his satisfaction. It underwent no alteration after he went to the National Hotel in Washington, except that he there inserted a clause in regard to the question then pending in the Supreme Court, as one that would dispose of a vexed and dangerous topic by the highest judicial authority of the land.”—Statement of James Buchanan Henry (President Buchanan’s private secretary) in the “Life of James Buchanan,” by George Ticknor Curtis, Vol. II., p. 187.