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Flag of The Dorr Rebellion

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  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

While seen as an extreme sidebar to American History, The ''Dorr Rebellion'' of 1841-1842, not only served to properly regulate voting in The State of Rhode Island, but would influence overall voting rights within The United States. Thomas Dorr of Rhode Island, was a Politician and Constitutional Reformer. He saw great injustices with just who had the right to vote in America. See a miscarriage of Constitutional Law in Rhode Island, most Adult Males could not vote unless they were Landowners and part of the ''Landed Gentry'', Dorr saw this practice as a nod to most European systems of Government where the Common Person had no voting rights.

 

Dorr was also an early advocate of African-Americans having the right to vote. With most of Northern America repealing Slavery by 1835, still most Northern States resisted enforcing most basic rights. Dorr was able to rally a wide swath of People (mostly Black) to attempt to repeal The Rhode Island Law. The Governor of The State (and Congressmen) resisted.

 

Dorr also attracted a more radical segment of Rhode Island Society, who would surely raise his repealing abilities, but Dorr had to distance himself from The Black Vote (which he did to a small part). In 1841, finding no further advances legally – he ''raised'' a small Army. Armed (with some cannon in fact), Dorr and his followers seemed determined to march on The State Capital.

 

This had the unintended action of scaring The Governor so badly, that he called out not only The State Militia, but called on Washington and The US Army for help in ''quelling an armed rebellion''. It is unclear if Dorr or his followers would have followed through on violence, whereas to a Man (Dorr as well) – disbanded upon seeing The Militia advance!

 

Going into exile, a warrant was issued for Dorr (citing Treason). After several years abroad, Dorr returned to Justice of his own accord. Imprisoned for 6-month, he was eventually pardoned. He lived the remainder of his life in relative obscurity until his death in 1854. Dorr's ''Movement'' did however have the intended effect. Laws were changed in Rhode Island that allowed any Man to vote regardless of financial status. The Movement also caused The US Government to modify it's voting requirements (which it did in most Northern States). The South (by and large) – refused to modify most of it's similar Laws until after The Civil War and Reconstruction.

 

The Dorr Movement used a proxy Flag. It's Maker is unknown but it is speculated to have been made by many of the wives of Movement Members. The Field was Green and it featured Gold lettering on only (1) side which read ''No Terms With Tyrants''. The amount of Flags are unknown with no surviving examples to our Era.