Four-page manuscript essay mentioning Dorr

Four-page manuscript essay mentioning Dorr

N.p. Sept. 28, [1842?]. Folio bifolium (approx. 15" x 12"), tears in the margins with some minor loss, previous folds; the text signed at the end "Marius." A curious and mysterious essay that may be a satire by the editor of a literary magazine. This first person narrative describes "a ramble through the neighboring fields to enjoy the beauty of the hour" and how the writer observed "a person bounding and jumping over the hills and rocks like a maniac...the cause of his agitations: he informed us all soon that he was a Casket and had got composition to write that week, and that he had been pursuing an idea that started up in the bushes two or three miles distant." The pursuit of the idea continues into an old barn "now quite evident that the idea had secreted itself...some wanted to try one way and others another: and some would like to send for Dorr, but that would not do for he had proved himself a coward and a rebel too." Dorr is no doubt Thomas Wilson Dorr, who had escaped Rhode Island into New York to raise a small militia there in June of 1842. Writes Russ DeSimone, a top Rhode Island Dorr expert: "I am of the opinion that it is a general reference to Dorr as opposed to a specific event. In the months following the 'rebellion' Dorr was the butt of many quips, for example one poem referred to him as 'the hero of two flights' alluding to his two departures from Rhode Island in May and June 1842. Another stated 'he came, he saw, he scampered.' In general, the conservative press and Whigs specifically poked fun at Dorr often implying he was a coward. Your ms is from September 1842 when Dorr had been in exile just a short while. In that time he had been in New York City before he settled in New Hampshire... the 'War in Rhode Island' was discussed nationally in the summer and fall of 1842." Item #55216

Price: $175.00