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    Description

    Franklin Pierce: A Possibly Unique 1852 Campaign Ribbon Related to the 1842 "Dorr Rebellion." In this unlisted design an eagle carries a "Pierce King" flag in his talons, while his beak holds a streamer reading "The sovereignty of the people." Below reads: "New Hampshire, true to Rhode Island in 1842. Rhode Island will show her gratitude by voting for New Hampshire's favorite son in 1852." The reference is to the famous Dorr Rebellion in Rhode Island. Rural landed gentry had maintained a political stranglehold on the state, requiring property ownership in order to vote, thus effectively disenfranchising urban factory workers. They also preserved an arcane provision of the state's constitution which gave each town the same representation in the legislature regardless of its size and population. Reform-minded Thomas Wilson Dorr led a movement which ultimately became a competing "illegitimate" government, and armed conflict was narrowly averted before a compromise was reached. A new 1843 state constitution dropped the property requirement for native-born citizens (only) and also awarded more seats in the legislature to the cities.

    At the height of the crisis, a number of New Hampshire legislators, including Pierce, joined prominent citizens in publishing a letter in support of Dorr's goals, hence his Rhode Island ribbon supporting Pierce a decade later.

    The green silk ribbon is basically in crisp condition, completely free of stains or soiling. However, the silk has deteriorated, so there is a partial separation at the top, clearly visible in the photo, as well as several faults near the bottom. Nonetheless, this ribbon retains a pleasing display presence, and it is surely one of the rarest and most historically significant ribbons in the Berman Collection. Length 7.5".


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    7th Saturday
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