Thomas Wilson Dorr daguerreotype | State Archives Catalog
Thomas Wilson Dorr daguerreotype (JPEG Image, 705.49 KB)
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Thomas Wilson Dorr, (born November 5, 1805, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.—died December 27, 1854, Providence), American lawyer and constitutional reformer in Rhode Island who led the Dorr Rebellion (also known as Dorr’s Rebellion) in 1842.
As a member of the state legislature (from 1834), Dorr failed in his reform efforts. In 1841 he organized the People’s Party, which called a convention, adopted a new constitution, held elections, and, on May 3, 1842, installed Dorr as governor. The preexisting government did not recognize him, and Rhode Island for a time had two administrations. Minor armed clashes occurred. Tried for treason, Dorr was sentenced (1844) to life imprisonment, but he was released a year later.