In this introductory essay to the Dorrite Women Letter Collection, historian Erik Chaput outlines the significant role women played in the Dorr Rebellion. The openly partisan activism of Dorrite women highlights an understudied aspect of antebellum America. Much of the scholarship on women in the antebellum period focuses on abolitionism and connections to other Whig Party reform efforts. The vast majority of women associated with Thomas Dorr, however, were open supporters of the Democratic Party and were not connected with Rhode Island abolitionist societies. In the essay, Chaput highlights the activism of a key group of Dorrite women, including Ann Parlin, Abby Lord and Catharine Williams, who were connected to the suffrage reform movement in Rhode Island from 1842-1845. The essay also highlights the role women played in the Dorr Liberation movement (1844-45).
The Dorr Rebellion Project http://library.providence.edu/dorr
The Dorr Letters Project http://library.providence.edu:8080/xtf/index.html
.pdf (text searchable)