less than 1 minute read

Prigg v. Pennsylvania

Significance, Owing Service, Federal Supremacy, Impact, Further Readings


Edward Prigg


State of Pennsylvania

Appellant's Claim

That laws passed by the U.S. Congress regulating interstate retrieval of fugitive slaves take precedence over state laws on the same subject.

Chief Lawyers for Appellant

Meredith, Nelson

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Johnson, Attorney General of Pennsylvania

Justices for the Court

Henry Baldwin, John Catron, Peter Vivian Daniel, John McKinley, Joseph Story (writing for the Court), Roger Brooke Taney, Smith Thompson, James Moore Wayne

Justices Dissenting

John McLean


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

1 March 1842


Upheld Prigg's claim and overturned two lower courts' decisions convicting Prigg of kidnapping under an 1826 Pennsylvania law.

Related Cases

  • The Antelope, 10 Wheat. 66 (1825).
  • Jones v. Van Zandt, 5 How. 215 (1848).
  • Ableman v. Booth, 62 U.S. 506 (1859).
  • Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52 (1941).
  • United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1833 to 1882