2023-08 Raynors HCA Live
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/27/2023
THOMAS W. DORR (1805-1854). Political reformer. Between the end of the revolution and the mid-1830s, attempts by the residents of Rhode Island to increase their limited suffrage had consistently met with contemptuous obstruction from the state government. By the early 1840s, Rhode Island was the only state which had not adopted practical manhood suffrage, and the only state not operating under a written constitution. The old colonial charter, under which the state was governed, permitted only those possessing a "moderate landed estate" to vote, thus effectively disenfranchising over half the state's male population. It has been estimated that, under this system, as few as 1,800 voters were controlling the state whose population was roughly 110,000. It was in this atmosphere that a "People's Party," led by Dorr, was formed, held a convention, drafted a constitution, and submitted it to the people for approval. Despite the fact that this constitution was overwhelmingly approved by the population, 14,000 to 100, the entrenched state government refused to acknowledge the results. In early 1842, the Dorrites, acting in accordance with their constitution, elected a full slate of government officials, with Dorr as governor. Thus, by May of that year, there were two governments, both claiming to be the state's legitimate governing body. Both governors, acting independently of one another, issued proclamations and carried on state business. Governor King, despite the fact that the People's Party had not attempted to seize the state house or machinery of government, appealed to Washington for help. In response, Dorr went to Washington to plead his case, unsuccessfully, to the President, and returned to find martial law had been declared in his absence, and a reward offered for his capture. He surrendered voluntarily, was tried for treason, and sentenced to hard labor for life in June 1844. This harsh, "spiteful", sentence infuriated many, even supporters of the old government, and Dorr was released in 1845. As a result of "Dorr's Rebellion", a new, more liberal state constitution was adopted, giving voting rights to native-born men of legal age who paid taxes of $1 or more or served in the state militia. Rare signature "Thos. W. Dorr", mounted and Very Good.
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Dorr - Leader of the Rhode Island People’s Party

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $400.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Estimate: $600 - $800
Auction closed on Sunday, August 27, 2023.
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