Dr. Erik J. Chaput will discuss the life of Thomas Wilson Dorr and the 1842 rebellion in Rhode Island that bears his name. In his talk, Dr. Chaput will devote particular attention to issues of gender, race and religion, especially the profound role anti-Catholic sentiment and anti-immigrant bigotry played in the spring and summer of 1842. Dr. Chaput’s talk will spotlight the social, labor and political environment in which Irish immigrants in Rhode Island lived and worked during this era. Dr. Chaput will also address the profound national ramifications of Dorr’s attempt at extra-legal reform.
(For background on the Dorr Rebellion, see the short documentary film on the Dorr Rebellion Project website, hosted by Providence College Library website: library.providence.edu/dorr )
ERIK J. CHAPUT received his doctorate in early American History from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Dr. Chaput is a frequent contributor to opinion and book review pages of the Providence Journal. He is the author of The People’s Martyr: Thomas Wilson Dorr and His 1842 Rhode Island Rebellion (University Press of Kansas, 2013). A native Rhode Islander and Providence College graduate, Professor Chaput teaches American history in the School of Continuing Education at PC and at 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, Newport History, U.S. Catholic Historian, The Catholic Historical Review, Historical New Hampshire, and the Historical Journal of Massachusetts. He has edited a teaching document on Rhode Island and the Establishment Clause for secondary educators. 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.