So many significant events occurred in this Old Courthouse that, even though it is a part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, better known as The St. Louis Arch, it certainly deserves its own entry.
Among the most significant was the first hearing of the case for freedom by the slave Dred Scott, which many historians agree was a major contribution to the start of the Civil War.
Women sued for the right to vote here; pioneers gathered to organize wagon trains westward; slaves were sold from these steps.
Today, two courtrooms of the original 13 remain intact, but the many exhibits throughout the building tell not only the history of St. Louis but of a rapidly expanding nation and its struggle to define freedom for all who lived within its borders.
If you visit the Arch and don’t take time to visit and learn at the Old Courthouse, you’re doing yourself and history a disservice.