Taney Dragons Name Traced To Infamous Judge
The Taney Dragons, the melting pot of a baseball team from Philadelphia with a black girl pitcher, won the hearts of all with their just-ended Little League World Series run in which they finished third in the nation.
So where does the name Taney come from? It’s from Taney Street, a four-block stretch of pavement that runs from Pine to Bainbridge just across the Schuylkill River from Penn.
And for whom is Taney Street named? That’s the irony. It is for the man who wrote the Dred Scott decision, the most racist and viciously destructive Supreme Court decision in our history.
It declared blacks to be less than human. It started the Civil War.
Roger Taney was a Democrat — no surprise, really –from Maryland who was picked by Andrew Jackson to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1835 after the great John Marshall died in a stage coach accident.
It is said he favored States’ Rights but that certainly wasn’t the case concerning slavery. In 1842, he ruled that Pennsylvania could not stop a Maryland man from seizing former slaves that had taken up residence in the Keystone State.
It was in 1857, he really let the mask drop. In Dred Scott he wrote regarding blacks:
It is difficult at this day to realize the state of public opinion in regard to that unfortunate race which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted; but the public history of every European nation displays it in a manner too plain to be mistaken. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far unfit that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect
So much for “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”
Those governing Philadelphia at the time apparently thought the decision was peachy. They named the street for him the next year.
Three years after that our country’s bloodiest war began. Taney died before it ended on Oct. 12, 1864, still the chief justice and giving as much grief to the Lincoln administration as he could but with his fangs largely pulled.
So thank you Mo’ne Davis and the rest of the Dragons, for the deserved mocking you gave to one of America’s great bigots.