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Roswell M. Field (1807 – 1869)

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Roswell M. Field was a prominent lawyer in St. Louis. He was also the father of journalist and poet Eugene Field. He is best remembered as an attorney for the slaves Dred and Harriet Scott. Roswell Field filed their suit for freedom in 1853 in the federal court after six years of futile litigation under the direction of other lawyers in the Missouri courts. Working free of charge, Field prepared the case for the United States Supreme Court. Montgomery Blair argued the case in Washington, DC.


Meets Show-Me Standards SS: 2, 6, 7; 4th grade GLE 2a.A.

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References and Resources

For more information about Roswell M. Field's life and career, see the following resources:

Society Resources

The following is a selected list of books, articles, and manuscripts about Roswell M. Field in the research centers of The State Historical Society of Missouri. The Society’s call numbers follow the citations in brackets. All links will open in a new tab.


  • Books & Articles
    • Bay, W. V. N. Reminiscences of the Bench and Bar of Missouri. St. Louis: F. H. Thomas, 1878.
    • Fish, Judge Frank L. "Roswell M. Field." Proceedings of the Vermont Historical Society. St. Albans, VT: The Society, 1923.
    • Gray, Melvin L. "Recollections of Judge Roswell M. Field." In The History of the Bench and Bar of Missouri, ed. A. J. D. Stewart. St. Louis: Legal Publishing, 1898.




Historic Missourians: Roswell M. Field
Roswell M. Field (1807 – 1869)Roswell M. Field (1807 – 1869).

[SHS 028674]

Roswell M. Field

Born: February 22, 1807
Died: May 4, 1869 (age 62)
Category: Leaders & Activists
Region of Missouri: St. Louis
Missouri Hometown: St. Louis