The People's Martyr tells the story of the life of Thomas Wilson Dorr and the 1842 rebellion in Rhode Island 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. Historian Erik J. Chaput devotes particular attention to issues of gender and race, especially the profound fears held by southern politicians that Dorr's ideology would lead to slave insurrections.
Erik J. Chaput received his doctorate in early American History from Syracuse University in 2011. Chaput is on the faculty in the School of Continuing Education at Providence College. Dr. Chaput's research has appeared in numerous publications, including 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. Chaput is the co-editor with Russell J. DeSimone of a digital edition of the letters of Thomas Wilson Dorr. The letters are avilable on the Dorr Rebellion project site hosted by Providence College.