More than 7,000 legal cases that provide a portrait of Missouri’s first 30 years as a state and 40 years before that are now only a few keystrokes away from anybody with a computer. The State Supreme Court and the state archives have been working on this project for years, a way to get summaries of every case that made it to the state’s highest courts onto the Internet. The cases are listed by date, title, topic. There are 500 cases between 1783 and 1851 about steamboats, for example. Some big names are in these cases. Among them are Dred Scott, Thomas Hart Benton, and Lewis and Clark. The database contains divorces, election contests and crimes. Secretary of State Matt Blunt says judicial records are important because they tell us how they got to be who and what we are. Eventually all of the cases ever heard by the Supreme Court will be in the data base, but that’s likely to take years, maybe decades. Search the database >>