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Dark WorkThe Business of Slavery in Rhode Island$
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Christy Clark-Pujara

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479870424

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479870424.001.0001

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Building a Free State and Nation

Building a Free State and Nation

Chapter:
(p.131) 6 Building a Free State and Nation
Source:
Dark Work
Author(s):

Christy Clark-Pujara

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479870424.003.0007

This chapter reveals how black Rhode Islanders attached themselves to state and national institutions—the state militia, public schools, and the federal army—in their pursuit of inclusion and equality. During the Dorr Rebellion—a constitutional crisis centered on the expansion of the vote to men who did not own property—black men enlisted with the local militia to restore order; they hoped their service would be rewarded with a restoration of their right to vote. Black Rhode Islanders also successfully integrated the state’s public schools. And when the southern states began to secede from the Union they volunteered to fight to keep the United States of America whole and to free their enslaved brothers and sisters. Black Rhode Islanders understood that their quest for citizenship was tied to their ability to become part of state and national institutions, even when they were not welcomed or invited to join.

Keywords:   Dorr Rebellion, Fourteenth Regiment, Civil War, public school(s)

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