THE RHODE-ISLAND QUESTION. ARGUMENTS OF MESSRS. WHIPPLE AND WEBSTER, IN THE CASE OF MARTIN LUTHER, PLAINTIFF IN ERROR, VERSUS LUTHER M. BORDEN AND OTHERS, IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, JANUARY TERM, 1848.

Providence: Charles Burnett, 1848. 56pp, stitched, original printed wrappers [minor extremity wear, spine wear]. Else Near Fine.

The constitutionality of Rhode Island's Charter government, as well as the Dorr Constitution, reached the Supreme Court after Martin Luther, a Dorr "insurgent," challenged the authority of the existing Rhode Island government to declare martial law and arrest him. He argued that the Charter had been abolished by the Dorr Constitution and that, indeed, the insurgents were authorized to overthrow the existing government "by force of arms."
Whipple provides a detailed history of the Charter government, the Constitutions purportedly superseding the Charter, and of the Dorr Rebellion. His argument opposes "the wild, visionary and revolutionary theories" of the Dorrites. Webster argues that bedrock "principles of public liberty" prevent the establishment of a new constitution by extra-constitutional means. Although "the will of the people must prevail...there must be some legal and authentic mode of ascertaining that will."
II Harv. Law Cat. 1133. Cohen, BEAL 12004. Sabin 70732. Item #27766

Price: $250.00

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