Valley Talks, a series of biweekly historical lectures by the Museum of Work & Culture, continues Sunday, January 24 at 1pm on Zoom.
Professor Erik Chaput will present “The People’s Martyr” and the Dorr Rebellion an exploration of the life of Thomas Wilson Dorr and the 1842 Rhode Island rebellion that bears his name. Thomas Dorr’s attempt at constitutional reform set off a firestorm of debate over the nature of the people’s sovereignty in Jacksonian America.
This year’s series is presented as part of the Rhode Island Historical Society’s Taking a Stand in Rhode Island, a yearlong examination of how the people who have called this place home, from the 17th century to the recent past, have identified aspects of society that needed to shift and how they worked to change them.
Erik J. Chaput received his doctorate in early American History from Syracuse University. He is the author of The People’s Martyr: Thomas Wilson Dorr and His 1842 Rhode Island Rebellion (University Press of Kansas, 2013). Professor Chaput teaches American history in the School of Continuing Education at Providence College and The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. Professor Chaput’s research has appeared in numerous publications, including Reviews in American History, Rhode Island History, Common-Place, American Nineteenth Century History, The New England Quarterly, the U.S. Catholic Historian, The Catholic Historical Review, Historical New Hampshire, and the Historical Journal of Massachusetts. He is the co-editor with Russell J. DeSimone of a digital edition of the letters of Thomas Wilson Dorr. The letters are available on the Dorr Rebellion project site hosted by Providence College.