Original Author: J. C. Buttre, engraver
Created: 1853
Medium: Steel engraving after a daguerreotype

Hugh A. Garland

Hugh A. Garland, a Virginia-born and educated lawyer is the subject of this signed engraved portrait published in John Davenport's Portraits of Distinguished Americans, Volume II (1853). In 1847 Garland moved to St. Louis with his family and the people he had enslaved in Virginia—among them, Elizabeth Keckly, who would become the renowned seamstress and dressmaker for President Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. Garland played a role in the Dred Scott decision handed down by the Supreme Court in 1857, an infamous case that denied African Americans the right to ever become citizens of the United States. The initial law case began in Missouri, where Garland and his law partner successfully upheld a slave holder’s right to continue to enslave Dred Scott and his wife, Harriet Scott, despite the fact that they had resided for a time in a free state and a free territory.