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Photo, Print, Drawing Tyrants prostrate liberty triumphant

[ digital file from b&w film copy neg. ]

About this Item


  • Tyrants prostrate liberty triumphant


  • A polemic applauding Democratic support of the Dorrite cause in Rhode Island. (See also "Trouble in the Spartan Ranks," and "The Great Political Car and Last Load of Patriots," nos. 1843-6 and 1845-5). In the spring of 1842 Thomas Wilson Dorr led an abortive revolt against the Charter government of Rhode Island, attempting to force liberalization of suffrage and reapportionment of legislative representation. The rebellion failed, and Dorr was convicted of treason and imprisoned in June 1844. His imprisonment generated considerable sympathy for him among Democrats even outside his own state. The rebellion, in fact, became a minor issue in the presidential campaign of 1844. James K. Polk was supportive of the need for reform in Rhode Island while his opponent, Whig candidate Henry Clay, condemned the Dorrites' "wanton defiance of established authority." "Tyrants Prostrate" is a pro-Dorr statement, praising the support of the movement by Democratic candidates Polk and Dallas while portraying Whigs Henry Clay, Theodore Frelinghuysen, and Daniel Webster as the agents of wealthy or religious interests. The locus of the cartoon is Dorr's prison cell. (He had been sentenced to life at hard labor and solitary confinement at the state prison at Providence.) Dorr (center, in shirtsleeves) stands and raises his manacled hands, proclaiming, "The process of this Court does not reach the man within, From this sentence of the Court I appeal to the People of our State and our Country!" Polk (left) and Dallas (far left) stand with joined hands. Dallas vows, "As sure as a God of Justice rules on high he will be free." Polk holds a hammer and pliers, apparently for use on Dorr's chains, and says, "The people will speak in tones of thunder yet, they brook no old King's charter, to enchain true patriots!" On the right stand Henry Clay, his running-mate Theodore Frelinghuysen (in clerical robes), and Daniel Webster. Clay raises his arm and declares, "Alas! alas! when Dorr is free King Charles charter will be destroyed, and with it the last British form of Government in these States. and the last hope of our Aristocracy for the people will have triumphed!" In his right hand is a document "Tariff," a token of his support of protection for American manufactures during the 1844 campaign. Frelinghuysen protests to Clay, "Ah my master say not so for then Church and State will never be united!" Daniel Webster responds with, "Yes they will If we join the American Party, and raise a Protestant succession on the ruins of Popery." The party to which he refers was nativist and anti-Catholic in ideology. Overhead flies the genius of Fame, carrying a crown for Dorr and trumpeting: Speed the sound O'er all your plains / The Martyr's freed from shameful chains! / Around his brow will freemen twine / A glorious wreath of myrtle vine! / Our Polk obey the people's call; / The Tyrant sees his shackles fall! / And every son of Liberty / Shout long live Dorr the great the Free! "Tyrants Prostrate" must have appeared during the 1844 election campaign. Dorr was in fact released from prison in June of the following year.


  • Baillie, James S., active 1838-1855.
  • Bucholzer, H.

Created / Published

  • N.Y. : Lith. & pubd. by James Baillie, 1844.


  • -  Clay, Henry,--1777-1852
  • -  Dallas, George Mifflin,--1792-1864
  • -  Dorr, Thomas Wilson,--1805-1854
  • -  Frelinghuysen, Theodore,--1787-1862
  • -  Polk, James K.--(James Knox),--1795-1849
  • -  Webster, Daniel,--1782-1852
  • -  Catholic Church--1840-1850
  • -  Rhode Island--1840-1850
  • -  Presidential elections--United States--1840-1850
  • -  Tariffs--1840-1850


  • Lithographs--1840-1850.
  • Political cartoons--1840-1850.


  • Lithographs--1840-1850
  • Political cartoons--1840-1850


  • -  Drawn by H. Bucholzer.
  • -  Entered . . . 1844 by J. Baillie.
  • -  Lith. of & pubd. by James Baillie 118 Nassau St. N.Y.
  • -  Title appears as it is written on the item.
  • -  Weitenkampf, p. 81-82.
  • -  Forms part of: American cartoon print filing series (Library of Congress)
  • -  Published in: American political prints, 1766-1876 / Bernard F. Reilly. Boston : G.K. Hall, 1991, entry 1844-19.


  • 1 print : lithograph on wove paper ; 28.9 x 43.9 cm. (image)

Call Number/Physical Location

  • PC/US - 1844.B157, no. 23 (B size) [P&P]

Source Collection

  • American cartoon print filing series (Library of Congress)


Digital Id

  • cph 3b17051 //

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2008661420

Reproduction Number

  • LC-USZ62-69615 (b&w film copy neg.)

Rights Advisory

  • No known restrictions on publication.

Online Format

  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

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  • Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
  • Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-69615 (b&w film copy neg.)
  • Call Number: PC/US - 1844.B157, no. 23 (B size) [P&P]
  • Access Advisory: ---

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Baillie, James S., Active, and H Bucholzer. Tyrants Prostrate Liberty Triumphant. United States Rhode Island, 1844. N.Y.: Lith. & pubd. by James Baillie. Photograph.

APA citation style:

Baillie, J. S. & Bucholzer, H. (1844) Tyrants Prostrate Liberty Triumphant. United States Rhode Island, 1844. N.Y.: Lith. & pubd. by James Baillie. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Baillie, James S., Active, and H Bucholzer. Tyrants Prostrate Liberty Triumphant. N.Y.: Lith. & pubd. by James Baillie. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.