The Political Transformation of Rhode Island, 1920–1940

By Dr. Patrick T. Conley

In 1972, Providence College archivist and historian Matthew J. Smith conducted a dozen lengthy interviews in Providence with former governor Robert Emmett Quinn just after he had stepped down as the first chief judge of the U.S. Court of Military Appeals. Eight years later, the politically knowledgeable Smith became Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

Smith used a tape recorder to preserve Quinn’s detailed recollections of his busy life and deposited those tapes in the PC archives where Quinn’s papers were eventually stored. However, the passage of time caused those valuable but neglected tapes to disintegrate.

Fortunately, they were discovered by researcher, editor, and author Russell DeSimone, who realized their significance for understanding a significant transitional period in Rhode Island history. In that period — the 1920s and 1930s — the state experienced a tumultuous political transformation from Republican to Democratic ascendancy. Robert Emmet Quinn led that political revolution in concert with his uncle Patrick Henry Quinn.

The major aspect of that transformation was the movement of Franco-Americans and Italian-Americans from the GOP to the Democratic Party. Quinn worked closely with ethnic leaders like Felix Toupin, Alberic Archambault, Louis Cappelli, and Luigi DePasquale in effecting this conversion.

Russell De Simone requested that I provide a survey of this era to provide background and context for Smith’s interviews. I obliged by writing the following essay that now serves as an introduction to the published product — “Fighting Bob” Quinn: Political Reformer and the People’s Advocate. This book was released in February 2020 by the Rhode Island Publications Society with a grant from the Heritage Harbor Foundation and then presented to Quinn’s descendants at the family’s West Warwick Country Club in a March 8 ceremony.

In addition to writing this essay (long on my to-do list) and including it in this anthology, I have appended to it biographical profiles of the four ethnic leaders mentioned above, which I wrote upon their recent and overdue induction into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

Robert Emmet Quinn, named for the noble Irish patriot, led the political transformation of Rhode Island from Republican to Democratic ascendancy during the turbulent 1920s and 1930s. A similar shift occurred in neighboring Massachusetts, a state with comparable demographics. Historian J. Joseph Huthmacher in his highly regarded book Massachusetts People and Politics, 1919–1933 (Harvard, 1959), ably described that transition. Gerald H. Gamm later described it in The Making of New Deal Democrats: Voting Behavior and Realignment in Boston, 1920–1940 (1986).

Because of discriminatory flaws in Rhode Island’s constitutional system (which I have exposed in other writings), Rhode Island’s transformation was more difficult, intense, tumultuous, and bizarre than that of its neighbor. This subject also demands a scholarly, book-length analysis. I intended to write such a volume, but a multitude of diversions prevented me from realizing that goal. Had it been written, Robert Emmet Quinn would have played the starring role.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Rhode Island experienced critical demographic changes. It received a significant influx of southern and eastern European immigrants from Italy, Portugal (including the Azores and Cape Verde), Greece, Armenia, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Russia (mainly Jews), as well as Near Easterners from Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. This influx peaked in the years before the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and continued immediately after that until limited by the federal Emergency Quota Act of 1921 and, especially, by the National Origins Quota Act of 1924. Rhode Island’s diversity was facilitated by the Fabre Line, a trans-Atlantic steamship company. It brought 84,000 immigrants to the Port of Providence from 1911 to 1934, at least 11,000 of whom settled in Rhode Island.

The economy also changed in the years after the war’s end. The state’s burgeoning population suffered through a steep decline in the dominant textile industry while other areas of the country prospered. This decline was followed by the Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression of the 1930s. Such demographic and economic shifts had profound political consequences. A dominant and conservative Republican Party, ascendant since the Civil War, controlled state government until the early 1920s. Providence business interests and rural politicians hailing from South County and the western farming towns along the Connecticut border led the GOP. It also had the allegiance of two large ethnocultural groups — the Franco-Americans and the Italians — which regarded the Republicans as the party of industry, jobs, and what the GOP called “the full dinner pail.” Irish-American antagonism and resentment towards these newer arrivals also kept them from embracing the Irish-led Democratic Party, despite the fact that the Irish, French, and Italians shared a common religion. However, even within Catholicism, there was friction, a story revealed by Rev. Robert Hayman in his detailed history of the Diocese of Providence and by Evelyn Savidge Sterne in Ballots and Bibles: Ethnic Politics and the Catholic Church in Providence (2004).

During the 1920s, the National Democratic Party moved from a rural to an urban orientation as Nebraska’s William Jennings Bryan gave way to New Yorker Alfred E. Smith. In addition, organized labor grew in strength and influence and was embraced in Rhode Island much more by the Democrats than by the business leaders who controlled the Republican Party.

After World War I, there was a national reaction to hyphenated Americanism because such groups as the German — and Irish—Americans were less than enthusiastic in their support of our ally England over Germany. A wave of 100-percent Americanism crested, and the Klu Klux Klan revived, with this reincarnation more nativistic than merely racist. In Rhode Island, most Irish-Catholic Democrats denounced these trends, whereas most Republicans (with U.S. Senator LeBaron Colt as a notable exception) supported discriminatory immigration laws.

Vigorous pro-labor reforms, demands for constitutional change, the 1928 presidential campaign of Governor Al Smith of New York, a charismatic Catholic politician of Irish, German, and Italian ancestry, and the social programs of the New Deal during the Great Depression also combined to bring the newer immigrant groups into the Democratic fold. In addition, the willingness of the Irish to advance Franco-American leaders such as Felix Toupin of Woonsocket, Alberic A. Archambault of West Warwick, and Aime J. Forand of Central Falls, as well as young Italians from Providence such as Luigi De Pasquale, Louis W. Cappelli and John O. Pastore caused a major shift in the political allegiance of both the French and the Italians.

It was against this demographic, economic, cultural, and political backdrop that Robert Emmet Quinn, also referred to as “Fighting Bob,” played his leading role in the time from the June 1924 legislative filibuster to his departure from the office of governor in January 1939.

However, any account of Robert Quinn’s rise should begin with a profile of his uncle, mentor, and law partner, the equally volatile and irrepressible Colonel Patrick Henry Quinn. His parents, Peter and Margaret (Callahan) Quinn, displayed their patriotism for America and its traditions by naming their son after the fiery Virginia Revolutionary War patriot famous for his defiant statement, “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry Quinn was born in 1869 in the Warwick mill village of Phenix. He followed the successful path of many ambitious Irish Catholics by interlacing labor union activity with legal training and Democratic Party activism within the even larger framework of his ethnicity and religion. He was a masterful speaker and belonged to most of the civic clubs and organizations of his day. Quinn, with a grade school education, entered the Clyde Print Works as a finisher and remained there for nine years. He spent his childhood, like so many others in the state, as a child laborer. But like the proverbial cream that rises to the top, Quinn studied life through observation and by reading books at the end of the workday. He found his initial success as a member of the Gilded Age’s most powerful labor union, the Knights of Labor, which had a meteoric rise in Rhode Island. Quinn achieved the Union’s highest state ranking, District Master Workman, just as the Order began to decline in the 1890s.

In his early twenties, Quinn secured a job as a bookkeeper and salesman at the printing house of William R. Brown and Company and studied law under his mentor, Edward L. Gannon. He partnered with Willard Tanner and Gannon after entering the bar in August 1895.
In November 1897, this young lawyer wed Agnes Healey of Providence, who died in February 1907 after only ten years of marriage. Patrick took a second wife, Margaret M. Conners of Providence, on July 22, 1909, by whom he had one son, Thomas Henry.

Quinn helped to create the state’s thirty-ninth municipality, the densely populated industrial town of West Warwick. When it peeled away from Warwick in 1913, Quinn served as the first president of the new town’s council. The Rhode Island General Assembly approved this division of Warwick, with Quinn as its leading advocate, in order to safeguard Republican ascendancy in that original town, the eastern part of which was predominantly rural.

Quinn remained a solo legal practitioner for many years before forming a partnership with Charles H. Keenan. He was an excellent trial attorney known both for his legal acumen and oratorical skills. Patrick Henry was the consummate politician. His litany of political positions in Warwick and West Warwick was unmatched. In 1893, he began his decades-long participation in the state convention of the Democratic Party. Ten years later, he became a senior aide to the Democratic reform Governor Lucius Garvin, who conferred upon Quinn his cherished title of colonel.

In 1900, Patrick became a delegate to his first of many Democratic National Conventions, and in 1914, he was the unsuccessful standard bearer of his party in the race for governor. Clearly, Robert Emmet Quinn could not have chosen a more influential trailblazer for his own career in politics than when he became his uncle’s law partner.

Bob Quinn was born in the mill village of Phenix (then part of Warwick) on April 2, 1894, as the son of Mary Ann (McCabe) Quinn and the colonel’s brother Charles. His grandfather, Peter Quinn, was a stone mason whose specialty was building railroad bridges. As a young boy, Robert went to St. James Parochial School in the village of Arctic and then to the original Warwick High School when it was located in present-day West Warwick. Because he was a brilliant student, he was able to attend Brown University, from which he graduated in 1915. He commuted to Brown daily by train from the mill village of Clyde, where his uncle lived. After graduating with honors, Robert enrolled at Harvard Law School. However, his studies were briefly interrupted by World War I. He served as a volunteer in the area of diplomatic intelligence in both England and France, earning the rank of captain. At war’s end, he resumed his studies at Harvard and received his law degree in 1920 at the age of twenty-four. On August 3, 1923 he married Mary Carter.

The politically chaotic decades of the 1920s and 1930s in Rhode Island witnessed a significant transition from Republican to Democratic control in state government. These two decades of transition did not have an auspicious beginning. In fact, the elections of 1920 portended a continuation of Republican dominance in state affairs. Both the Republican presidential candidate, Warren G. Harding, and the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate, Franco-American Emery J. San Souci, who managed a family department store in the Olneyville section of Providence, won by huge margins. These victories offset such recent Democratic surges as the election of Peter Gerry to the U.S. Senate in 1916, the victories of Congressman George F. O’Shaughnessy, and the strong showing of West Warwick’s Alberic A. Archambault in the gubernatorial election of 1918, although Archambault, the first Franco-American endorsed for state office by the Democrats, lost that race by a vote of 42,682 to 36,031.

Conversely, in 1920, the Republican margin was nearly two-to-one. In that contest, San Souci was nominated by the GOP to hold the Franco-American vote. This Providence businessman succeeded admirably, defeating the former Cranston Democratic mayor Edward M. Sullivan 109,138 to 55,963. The much-enlarged electorate was due to two major factors: the presidential campaign and the beginning of women’s suffrage. The margin of victory was also due to two main factors: dissatisfaction of the Irish and Germans with Wilsonian foreign policy and a far more effective mobilization of the women’s vote by Republicans. The Democrats in 1920 seemed doomed to perpetual minority status. Like the globe, they were flattened at the polls.

For the Democrats, however, the 1920 election was merely the darkness before the dawn. Three incredible blunders by local Republicans in 1921–22 caused the GOP to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. These events happened rather rapidly, right after the Republican landslide of 1920. Two of these politically damaging actions were related to labor issues. In 1921 and 1922, severe wage cuts caused by post-war deflationary trends were imposed by mill owners upon the workers in the local textile industry. These wage cuts hit the Franco-American mill workers hard.

In 1921, the textile mill owners attempted to combat the postwar deflation by imposing a 22½ percent wage cut on their employees. Used to such wage manipulation in previous deflationary periods, the workers acquiesced. In 1922, however, as economic conditions worsened, the owners poured salt on the workers’ wounds when they decreed an additional 20 percent wage cut and increased the weekly work hours from forty-eight to fifty-four. Such harsh measures caused rebellion, and angry operatives struck the mills in the Blackstone and Pawtuxet Valleys. When violence threatened, Yankee Republican leaders pressured Governor San Souci to call out the National Guard. An ensuing skirmish between these citizen soldiers and Pawtucket demonstrators left one millhand dead and fourteen wounded.

Despite such use of force, the workers remained adamant. Employers also sought and secured antilabor injunctions and evicted strikers from their company housing despite the efforts of the Quinns to defend them in court. By late 1922, the Amalgamated Textile Workers Union, operating in the Pawtuxet Valley, and the AF of L-affiliated United Textile Workers toiling in the Blackstone Valley had averted the second cut. Actually, it regained some of the first wage reductions. On the workers’ demand for a forty-eight-hour week, however, management remained unyielding. A forty-eight-hour bill was sponsored in the General Assembly by the minority Democrats, but the Republicans defeated it despite massive popular demonstrations in its favor. Not until 1936, after the Democrats had seized power in the state, did the legislature pass a forty-eight-hour law.

The Republican administration’s use of the National Guard against the workers, together with the GOP’s opposition to the forty-eight-hour bill, prompted a large-scale defection from Republican ranks by Franco-American workers. This rift in the old political and economic alliance between the Yankee Republican mill owners and their Franco-American workforce was quickly exploited by Irish Democrats. In addition to these two economic blunders, the Yankee Republicans, influenced by the pervasive 100-percent American movement spawned by the new immigration and by the opposition of some so-called “hyphenated Americans” to U.S. involvement in World War I, enacted Chapter 2234 of the Public Laws of 1922.

Frederick Peck, the Republican national committeeman and the boss of the Republican Party as successor to General Charles R. Brayton, sponsored this law. The statute’s most controversial provision (Section 11) required all instruction in private schools, including Catholic parish schools, to be in English. The law specified that “the state board of education shall approve a private school only when . . . the instruction in such school in all studies, except foreign languages and any studies not taught in public schools, is in the English language.” The novelties here were the State Board of Education’s supervision of this particular requirement and state enforcement of it. A similar provision, inspired by the nativistic American Protective Movement (APA), had been on the statute books since 1893. Still, it placed control and supervision in the hands of local school boards. Therefore, French cities such as Central Falls and Woonsocket ignored it. As a matter of fact, it was not unknown for French priests to serve on and to even chair these local school committees in the French community. The French considered the Peck Act’s mandate of state supervision to be a direct assault on the Franco-American cultural trinity — la langue, la foie, et la patrie (the language, the faith, and their attachment to their native Quebec). The French-Canadians regarded their language not only as a principal means of preserving their faith but also their cultural identity in what many of the somewhat insular habitants considered an alien environment here in the United States.

In 1922, the Democratic political campaign strategy focused on these three issues: the textile strike, the Republican repudiation of the 48-hour law, and the Peck Act. As a further slight to the previously loyal Republican French, San Souci was dumped in favor of Yankee businessman Harold Gross, who owned a large insurance and real estate company. These events set the stage for a Democratic comeback, with French-Canadian leader Felix Toupin as the candidate for lieutenant governor and William S. Flynn of South Providence as the gubernatorial nominee. In the election of 1922, Gross polled 74,224, while Flynn garnered 81,935 and won by a plurality of 7,211. After the debacle of 1920, when the Democratic candidate lost by over 53,000 votes, this was the most incredible comeback since Lazarus. The Democratic tsunami brought with it a new, young Democratic senator from West Warwick, Robert Emmet Quinn.

The election of 1922 was a highly significant breakthrough in Rhode Island, but the Democrats, at least at first, could not stand success. They regarded the election as a mandate for constitutional reform. So they set out to devise ways to reapportion the Senate to lessen the rural influence there and also to repeal the Bourn Amendment with its property taxpaying requirement for voting in city council elections. They hoped to accomplish these reforms through a constitutional convention, although they would have been satisfied with constitutional amendments.

The Democrats went about their work in a very determined and, in some respects, scandalous way. Because they had gained seats in the Senate, although they were still a minority, they believed that by filibuster and persistence, they could force the rural Senate majority into agreeing to their bill, which allowed for a referendum on the convening of a convention. On June 17, 1924, at 2:00 p.m., this Democratic effort reached its climax. At that stormy session, the Democratic minority, led by Senator Robert Quinn and Lieutenant Governor Felix Toupin, the presiding officer, staged a marathon filibuster to force Republicans to pass a constitutional convention bill that had already cleared the Democratic House.

Toupin’s strategy was to wear down some of the elderly Republicans and then call for a vote on the question when they snoozed or strayed. In the forty-second hour of the filibuster, as the vigilant Democrats awaited the success of this scheme, Republican party managers authorized some thugs imported from Boston to detonate a bromine gas bomb under Toupin’s rostrum. As the fiery Woonsocket politician keeled over unconscious, senators scrambled for the doors. Within hours, most of the Republican majority was transported across the state line to Rutland, Massachusetts, where Toupin’s summons could not reach them. There, they stayed (Sundays excepted) until a new Republican administration assumed office in January 1925. Ironically, the defeat of the Democrats in the 1924 state elections was due in part to the fact that the Providence Journal wrongly accused them of the bombing. That year, the newspaper had much to gain from discrediting the Democrats because Jesse H. Metcalf, brother of the Journal’s president, was the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in the fall election.

To stem the defection of Franco-Americans from the Republican Party, Aram Pothier was summoned from retirement to battle Felix Toupin in the 1924 governor’s race. With the Democrats unjustly blamed for the stink-bomb incident, Pothier and Metcalf won decisive victories, as did most other GOP candidates, but ominously, Toupin outpolled Pothier in Woonsocket by 1100 votes. The turmoil that convulsed the state legislature in its 1924 session prompted the victorious Republicans, who gained decisive control of that body in the Fall elections, to institute checks against the potential for such disruptions in the future. When the new legislative session opened in January 1925, the Republicans promptly sponsored a bill that created a Department of State Police. Rising violence in labor disputes and the need to enforce a statewide auto code were also motivating factors in establishing this uniformed statewide law enforcement agency.

Shortly after passing the state police statute on April 2, 1925, Governor Pothier appointed Everitte St. John Chaffee of Providence as the department’s first superintendent. Chaffee, a military man who had compiled a distinguished World War I record as an officer of the 26th “Yankee” division, was given comprehensive administrative authority over the new agency, a power that all subsequent state police colonels have since wielded.

Rhode Island’s political turbulence in 1924 was matched on the national level by the fight over control of the Democratic Party and its policies. Colonel Patrick Henry Quinn was chairman of the Rhode Island delegation to the Democratic National Convention held in New York’s Madison Square Garden in late June and early July. That convention staged the biggest brawl in the history of the Garden, a venue famed for its heavyweight championship boxing bouts. According to one commentator, “rural nativism and urban rowdyism clashed in a head-on collision.” One small aspect of that “rowdyism” was a direct and hostile confrontation between Colonel Quinn and Democratic Party leader William Jennings Bryan.

In 1896, Bryan and his Populist followers lost the presidential election to William McKinley and his “full dinner pail” promise to American workers. However, the rural, agrarian Bryanites gained control of the Democratic Party and sought to implement its farm-oriented platform. In 1924, that control was challenged by the presidential candidacy of colorful New York governor Alfred E. Smith, described by his biographers as the “Hero of the Cities.” Smith’s bid for the nomination was contested by the Bryan-backed William Gibbs McAdoo, a competent Tennessee-born attorney, who was also Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of the Treasury and the president’s son-in-law. Smith and McAdoo battled for a fortnight through 103 ballots before agreeing to Virginian John W. Davis as a compromise nominee. A low point of the convention was the refusal of the party’s rural wing to condemn the revived Ku Klux Klan. This platform plank, backed by Smith, was voted down by a narrow margin of 546 to 542. At this time, the Klan had about four million members who opposed immigrants, especially Catholics and Jews. The new Klan was no longer a purely Southern phenomenon; it even conducted cross-burnings in Rhode Island.

Smith, who had been nominated as “the Happy Warrior” by Franklin D. Roosevelt, gradually assumed the leadership of the Democratic Party. By 1928, his pro-labor, anti-Prohibition positions made the Democratic Party much more palatable to Rhode Island’s ethnics than the “dry” and increasingly nativistic GOP. After the 1924 General Assembly debacle, Bob Quinn stepped aside as West Warwick’s senator in favor of his fellow Democratic townsman Alberic Archambault. That year, the ambitious young attorney became Toupin’s running mate as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. He lost that race decisively and failed again in his 1926 bid to become attorney general. The lingering effects of the 1924 debacle and the presence of popular Aram Pothier at the top of the Republican ticket were too much to overcome. In 1928, Quinn ran successfully for West Warwick’s Senate seat when Franco-American leader Alberic Archambault made his second bid for governor on a slate headed by Al Smith.

For the people of Rhode Island, the presidential campaign of 1928, pitting Democrat Al Smith against Republican Herbert Hoover, was among the most exciting ever. Smith appealed to the Catholic ethnic vote, and his candidacy hastened the conversion of local Italians, French Canadians, and Polish to the Democratic Party. When he beat Hoover statewide by a plurality of 1,451, the New York governor became the first Democratic presidential candidate to poll a majority of the state’s popular vote (viz., 752) since Franklin Pierce turned the trick in 1852.

In what the Republican-oriented Providence Journal described as “the most stirring political campaign since the Civil War,” Smith barnstormed the state in October, creating pandemonium. According to one newspaper account, “fire engines screeched, band instruments blared, torpedoes tossed by youngsters exploded, ticker tape floated in a sinuous maze from the windows of all buildings, automobile horns blasted, shrill whistles and locomotives screamed, confetti and shredded newspapers descended in blinding drifts, and an airplane marked with words of welcome swooped an aerial salute as the governor’s procession passed slowly along.”

Unfortunately for Archambault, who lost his gubernatorial race to attorney Norman Case by 8,154 votes, ethno-religious controversy in Rhode Island dissuaded some of his fellow Franco-Americans from supporting the Irish-led state party. A dispute known as the Sentinellist Controversy pitted Bishop William Hickey and his Irish hierarchy against certain Franco-American dissenters. The bishop demanded centralization of his diocese in the chancery, whereas some French leaders preferred the Quebec tradition of parish autonomy. This dispute, marked by the ex-communication of Sentinellist leader Elphege Daigneault, might be called the darkness just before the dawn in French-Irish cultural relations. It began to subside in the aftermath of the 1928 election. It evaporated by 1933 with the death of the autocratic Bishop Hickey and the appointment of a conciliatory successor, Francis P. Keough.

The 1928 election not only marked Bob Quinn’s return to the Senate, but it also resulted in the ratification of two significant amendments to the Rhode Island Constitution. They could be considered Republican concessions to deter major constitutional reform via an open convention. Despite the cumbersome amendment procedure — passage by two successive General Assemblies with a general election intervening and a three-fifths vote of the electors — Articles of Amendment XIX and XX became law. Article XIX, allowing one senator to a municipality for every 25,000 voters, was ratified by a margin of 63,202 to 19,754. It gave Providence four senators, including a woman pioneer — Isabelle Ahearn O’Neill. It was a small step in eroding rural control of the upper chamber.

Article XX, by removing the property qualification for voting in city council elections, prepared the way for the Democrats to control the influential city councils, which, in turn, controlled municipal jobs. It was ratified by a vote of 62,263 to 20,107. In Providence, especially, control of the patronage allowed the Democrats to entice many in its large Italian population to abandon their traditional allegiance to the GOP.

In 1930, Republican governor Norman Case narrowly won reelection over Theodore Francis Green (112,070 to 108,558), but Quinn easily retained his Senate seat. Two years later, on his third try, Green prevailed, even though he had backed the nomination of Franklin D. Roosevelt over Al Smith. Fortuitously, Green chose Bob Quinn as his running mate. Both were easily elected and Quinn, as lieutenant governor, became the presiding officer of the Senate.

The 1934 state elections produced the same result, and the stage was set for the Bloodless Revolution. However, before that repeat victory, the administration of Green and Quinn had to survive a major economic upheaval — The Great Textile Strike of 1934. That incident has been called by one labor historian “the most dramatic single illustration of the tragic long-term decline of the textile industry, the economic base supporting much of Rhode Island’s working class since the middle of the nineteenth century.” In ten years — 1923 to 1933 — the number of cotton textile wage earners in the state shrunk from 33,933 to 13,077. Despite the efforts of Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration (NRA), the textile industry remained distressed, and worker complaints of wage cuts, plant shutdowns, and sudden layoffs led to rising militancy. At this juncture, the United Textile Workers Union (UTWU) called upon its members nationwide to strike.

On September 3, 1934, the scheduled walkout began to affect mills throughout Rhode Island. By the second week of the strike, tensions between workers and owners erupted into open conflict in the Social District of Woonsocket and the Lincoln village of Saylesville. On September 10, rioting and physical destruction of property reached such levels that Governor Green mobilized the National Guard and made a request (unanswered) for federal troops. The Journal headline on September 12 told the tragic story: “Guardsmen fire in Saylesville; pickets, sympathizers, and hoodlums run wild in Woonsocket, destroy property in Social district; six shot” (one of whom died). Fortunately, the rioting ended swiftly on September 13, and order was restored. Ten days later, after President Roosevelt appointed a national fact-finding commission to address textile workers’ grievances, the UTWU called off the strike.

On October 2, 1934, the Democrats renominated Green for governor, and one month later, he won by a plurality greater than the one that had elected him in 1932. The use of National Guardsmen in 1922 had severely hurt the GOP; twelve years later, the deployment of similar force in a labor uprising had no detrimental effect upon the Democrats. This anomaly may be explained by several factors: workers were well aware of Green’s pro-labor sentiments and the labor planks in the 1934 Democratic platform; the governor acted only when violence had become otherwise uncontrollable; and he managed to convince most workers that the rioting and destruction of property were the handiwork of Communist agitators. Somehow, Green succeeded in projecting a dual image, both as a protector of public Order and, like Quinn, as a long-time friend of the working class. The latter image, at least, was reinforced by a litany of social legislation enacted by Green and his party once they gained control of state government via the Bloodless Revolution of January 1935.

In the aftermath of the 1934 state elections, Rhode Island’s political transformation appeared complete. Using ethnic balancing, a tactic that would endure for several decades, all of the newly-elected general officers were Democrats — Governor Green (Yankee), Lt. Governor Quinn (Irish), Secretary of State Louis Cappelli (the first Italian-American general officer originally selected in 1932), Attorney General John P. Hartigan (Irish), and General Treasurer Antonio Prince, a Woonsocket Franco-American. Rhode Island’s two congressmen were Irish Democrats — Francis B. Condon and John M. O’Connell. Yankee millionaire Peter Gerry defeated incumbent Franco-American Republican Felix Hebert in that year’s race for the U.S. Senate. Gerry won the Franco-American city of Woonsocket by a vote of 10,056 to 4,870 — a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Local Democrats even exerted influence on the national scene when Brown University and Harvard Law School graduate Thomas G. “Tommy the Cork” Corcoran became a leading draftsman and lobbyist for much of the legislation now labeled as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Corcoran, a Pawtucket native, was recommended to FDR by Green and Harvard Law School professor Felix Frankfurter, a future Supreme Court justice. Corcoran became a close friend of Roosevelt, wrote many of his speeches, and coined FDR’s famous phrase “rendezvous with destiny.”

After the 1934 balloting, even control of the Senate seemed within the grasp of the insurgent Democrats. They were poised to take this bulwark against reform that Irish-born U.S. Representative George F. O’Shaunessy, who had become Rhode Island’s first Catholic member of Congress in 1911, derisively called “a malign influence exercised over state government by the abandoned farms of Rhode Island.”

The Bloodless Revolution of January 1935 was not a spontaneous uprising; it was a well-planned coup (as detailed by Quinn in his interview with Matt Smith). A dozen Democratic leaders orchestrated the events of January 1 with Quinn the conductor. In late November and early December 1934, the votes for the 42 Senate seats were tallied, and the preliminary count gave the Republicans a 23 to 19 edge. However, the Democrats alleged voter irregularities in three towns ostensibly carried by the GOP — Coventry, Portsmouth, and South Kingstown. Upon investigation, the chicanery in Coventry was so blatant that the Republican-dominated State Returning Board reversed the result, leaving the “final” count at 22 to 20 in favor of the Republicans.

However, Quinn was convinced of fraud in both Portsmouth and South Kingstown. As the incumbent presiding officer of the Senate by virtue of his 1932 victory, he invoked a constitutional power under Article IV, Section 6 to have the Senate itself conduct a recount in the two disputed districts. To that end, he appointed a three-member Senate committee composed of two Democrats and a moderate Republican. Confident of the results of that inquiry, Quinn, Governor Green, Mayor Tom McCoy of Pawtucket, First Assistant Attorney General William W. Moss, Providence Representative Edmund Flynn, and several others met to draft the revolutionary scenario.

When the Senate opened on New Year’s Day 1935, Quinn swore in all of the senators-elect except for Republicans B. Earle Anthony of Portsmouth and incumbent Wallace Campbell of South Kingstown. This duo sat in their assigned seats with flowers on their desk, but Quinn ignored them. This procedure left the Senate divided 20 to 20, with Quinn presiding. As in 1924, several Republicans tried to leave the chambers to prevent a quorum, but Quinn had prepared warrants for their detention, and the state police complied.

The state police presence and compliance had been facilitated the previous January when Green and Quinn ousted unpopular Colonel Everitte St. John Chaffee in favor of their own candidate to lead the state police, Edward J. Kelly of Providence. Kelly was confirmed by the Senate in a voice vote when Quinn, as presiding officer, refused requests of the Republican majority for a roll call ballot. At that session, Republicans had 27 senators compared to only 14 Democrats and one independent. Because of a GOP omission in creating the state police, its colonel was not covered by the Brayton Act.

With the Republicans restrained, Secretary of State Louis Cappelli supervised a recount. That tally overturned the election results in both towns and gave victory to Portsmouth Democrat Joseph P. Dunn and South Kingstown Democrat Charles A. White, Sr. The new line-up was now 22 to 20 in favor of the Democrats, thanks not only to Quinn’s maneuvers but also to the 1928 constitutional amendment allowing Providence four Senate seats. With a comfortable margin in the House of 58 to 42 and the consequent 80 to 62 control of the Grand Committee of the House and the Senate — the body that then chose Supreme Court justices — Democrats implemented their revolution by enacting the five major bills that their cabal had prepared in anticipation of gaining Senate control. These measures were introduced and passed by the eager Democrats in rapid-fire succession.

The first bill, not as crucial as some of the others, vacated the office of Sheriff Jonathan Andrews of Providence County and all the patronage jobs that went with it. The second vacated the five judgeships of the state supreme court. The five Republican justices on the court were granted large pensions on the condition that they resign their offices by noon the following day. They did so. The first bill passed by a voice vote, the second by a roll call.

The third bill passed by the insurgents wiped out the Providence Safety Board and gave Governor Green the power to name a public safety director for the city. This Providence Safety Board situation was the most notorious example of Republican interference in the affairs of those municipalities that were under Democratic control. At that time, the state operated under a theory of local government known as the “creature doctrine,” whereby local communities were mere creatures of the General Assembly, with the legislature having virtually absolute power over them. It was the custom of the Republican-controlled state government to frequently interfere in the local affairs of cities that tended towards the Democratic Party.

The fourth bill abolished the office of finance commissioner and created a combined office of state budget director and state controller, and placed the budgetary powers under the governor. Prior to this act, the finance commissioner, appointed by the Senate, had control of the state budget. The governor had no budgetary power other than to veto the entire budget because he lacked an item veto (and still does). Control of the finance commissioner, a position held for over a decade by Republican state party chairman Bill Peck, was another method by which the GOP Senate could maintain its dominance in state affairs under the 1901 Brayton Act. The last bill, Chapter 2188 of the Public Laws of 1935, was the longest. It merged some 80 state commissions controlled by the Senate into eleven executive departments, and it repealed the Brayton Act, not by name but by repealing all acts “inconsistent” with the reorganization law. The seven departments not headed by an elected general officer were to be headed by a director who would be appointed by the governor and hold office “at the pleasure of the governor.”

From the time that the Senate convened to hear the report of the special committee on the recount at 7:32 p.m. to the adoption of the fifth measure, which repealed the Brayton Act and reorganized state government, only fourteen minutes elapsed. The House quickly approved the measures by roll call votes along a straight party line, and Governor Green immediately signed them into law. Next, the Grand Committee met to fill the vacancies of sheriff and the justices of the state supreme court, appointments already agreed upon in advance. Then Green was sworn into office as governor for a second term. Finally, at 12:05 a.m., the governor read an abbreviated inaugural address that contained recommendations for much that had already occurred and invoked “the spiritual presence of the patron saint of the Democratic Party in Rhode Island — Thomas Wilson Dorr.”

Irwin Levine notes in his biography of Green that when the Grand Committee was filling the new vacancies, Ed Higgins, Green’s administrative assistant, used the governor’s car to deliver letters to Providence Safety Board members, Everett St. John Chaffee, George T. Marsh, and Michael Corrigan. They were informed that they were removed from office and were, therefore, no longer state officials. On the following day, the new supreme court jurists, except for Congressman Francis B. Condon, who was in Washington, were sworn into office with Edmund Flynn of South Providence as chief justice. With that ceremony, the Bloodless Revolution of 1935 was over.

Although dwarfed by the controversy caused throughout the country by the Dorr Rebellion, this bold Democratic coup did not escape national attention. One humorous response is worthy of note. In Chicago, Colonel Robert Rutherford McCormick, the conservative and aristocratic publisher of the Chicago Tribune, when hearing of the Rhode Island revolution, hauled down the giant American flag in the lobby of the Tribune building and expelled Rhode Island from the Union by cutting out one star. Later in the day, when he was informed that mutilation of the American flag was punishable by a fine of up to one hundred dollars or by thirty days in jail, McCormick reluctantly ordered the star replaced, thus restoring Rhode Island to the Union.

A significant trend that produced the new (but briefly tenuous) Democratic ascendancy was the movement of Franco-American voters into the Democratic Party, especially after Governor Aram Pothier died in office on February 4, 1928. Many factors influenced this critical trend: (1) the textile industry experienced a drastic decline from 1923 onward, creating high unemployment in the Franco-American community and dissolving the economic bond between the French and their Yankee Republican employers; (2) Irish Democrats continued to woo the Franco-Americans by sponsoring working-class legislation and advancing Franco-Americans like Alberic Archambault to prominent positions in the Democratic party; (3) the shift in national Democratic leadership from William Jennings Bryan’s agrarian wing to an urban ethnic base made the party more attractive to blue-collar workers; (4) the presidential candidacy of Catholic Democrat Al Smith brought Catholic ethnics into the Democratic fold; (5) the failure of the Republicans to deal effectively with the Great Depression caused disillusionment with the GOP, especially among the unemployed; and (6) the social programs, labor legislation,and the proethnic attitude of the federal government under the New Deal cemented the allegiance of French Canadians and other new ethnics like the Italians, Poles, and Jews to the Democratic party.

Felix Toupin from the Blackstone Valley and Alberic Archambault, a West Warwick colleague of Colonel Quinn, led the move of the French from the GOP to the Democratic Party. Irish party leaders nominated Archambault for governor in 1918 and 1928 and elected him state party chairman in 1920–21. Although there is no scholarly statistical analysis of the Franco-American conversion to the Democratic fold, Stefano Luconi has studied the Italian transition in his book The Italian-American Vote in Providence, Rhode Island, 1916–1948 (2004). This work concludes that the Democratic Party, by providing political recognition and patronage, also shaped the voting behavior of Italian Americans. Control of the city councils and city patronage via Article of Amendment XX in 1928, the candidacy of Al Smith (who ironically had a paternal grandfather from Italy), Democratic control of state patronage after the repeal of the Brayton Act, and the reorganization of state government in January 1935 lured Italian Americans into the Democratic camp.

Luigi DePasquale was, like Archambault, the pioneer in leading his fellow ethics towards the Democratic Party. He received the nomination for Congress in 1920 and nearly won. Until that time, no Italian-Americans from either party had been advanced to high office. In 1925, DePasquale was named state Democratic party chairman. According to Bob Quinn, this choice was designed “to make hay with the Italians.” In 1932, Louis Cappelli became the first Italian-American to win general office. He was elected secretary of state on the victorious slate headed by Green and Quinn. By the mid-1930s, Christopher Del Sesto and John O. Pastore began climbing the political ladder. The Democratic leaders also gave deference to Republican Antonio Capotosto when they reorganized the Supreme Court in January 1935. He became one of the two Republican justices on the new high court. Making Columbus Day (October 12) a legal state holiday in 1936 was another Democratic ploy that was as much political as it was historical.

In the statewide elections of 1936, the Democrats called a moratorium on their intraparty feud long enough to secure control of every political plum except the malapportioned and traditionally Republican state Senate, in which the Republicans had regained control by a surprising margin of 27 to 15. The December 1936 special session was called by Green and Quinn so that the outgoing General Assembly, with its lame-duck Democratic Senate, could enhance gubernatorial power in several areas, such as by conferring upon the governor the right to appoint sheriffs and clerks of the Supreme and Superior Courts. This measure came on the heels of a 1935 Democratic raid upon District Court clerks and judges, which the new Supreme Court had upheld by a 3-to-2 margin in Gorham v. Robinson, 57 R.I. 1 (1936) a decision denying the applicability in Rhode Island of the doctrine of strict separation of powers.

Although McCoy did well at this special session by securing the passage of an act that increased his control over Pawtucket’s police and fire departments, he again failed to win approval for his great obsession — municipal ownership of public utilities. Both Green and lawyer-lobbyist Cornelius C. Moore of Newport consistently blocked McCoy’s populistic crusade against Blackstone Valley Gas and Electric and other utility companies. Because of such opposition and his failure to secure greater statewide influence, McCoy moved closer politically to the flamboyant Walter O’Hara. He would side with the Pawtucket Star’s publisher and Narragansett Race Track proprietor when O’Hara battled Governor Quinn in the notorious Race Track War, which was waged by this determined duo during the autumn of 1937.

The bizarre manner by which the Democrats seized power in January 1935 was equaled by how they soon squandered it. No victorious party in Rhode Island history was as fractionalized and divided on policy issues. Few, if any, were as preoccupied with the spoils of office and their distribution, especially as rewards to the party’s new ethnic allies.

Our interviewer, Matt Smith, in his insightful 1973 essay, “The Real McCoy in the Bloodless Revolution of 1935,” has described this divisiveness better than anyone.

According to Smith, “the power structure of the Democratic Party in 1935 consisted of four major factions . . . to a large degree geographic in nature, but with plenty of leeway for personal friendships and alliances, they were constantly maneuvering for power.” Those factions were a Providence combine headed by Green and his law partner, ex-mayor Joseph H. Gainer; the Peter Gerry camp whose driving force, J. Howard McGrath, a Woonsocket native, became state party chairman in 1930; the Pawtuxet Valley organization headed by the Quinns and including Franco-American leader Alberic Archambault, and the Blackstone Valley combine composed of party leaders in Woonsocket, Central Falls, and especially Pawtucket. It was led by Pawtucket political boss and soon-to-be mayor, the audacious Thomas P. McCoy. It also included Pawtucket’s Albert J. Lamarre and Harry Curvin, Congressman Francis Condon of Central Falls, and the fiery Felix Toupin of Woonsocket.

These contingents were analogous to the final four in the current college football playoffs, and they fought as hard for supremacy. As Smith correctly observes, “the General Assembly session that followed the historic “revolution” must be regarded as one of the low points in the party’s history. Instead of following up on its initial reform impulse with a program for long-promised constitutional change and badly-needed social welfare legislation, newly empowered legislators matched their Republican predecessors in a wild scramble for patronage and power.”

The initial major confrontation, which was between Green and McCoy, erupted early. The governor had made McCoy state budget director and comptroller because of his proven financial acumen and because he controlled ten votes in the House. However, McCoy was passionate about municipal ownership of public utilities as a result of his long battle with the Blackstone Valley Gas and Electric Company to cut its rates for consumers. Green, influenced by such utility company lobbyists as Newport lawyer and Democratic leader Cornelius Moore, rejected this reform despite his support for it in his inaugural message. The utility issue soon grew very bitter, and when combined with a fight over patronage, Green fired the insubordinate McCoy in April and replaced him with a rising Italian star — Christopher Del Sesto. Ironically, Del Sesto, in later years, would be angered when the Democratic Party leadership passed him over for advancement in favor of John O. Pastore. A resentful Del Sesto then joined the GOP and won the governorship in 1958. This episode was also skillfully related by Matt Smith in his scholarly article on “The Long Count and Its Legacy.” Felix Toupin, another foe of Green, defected even sooner and became the Republican mayor of Woonsocket in 1938 after having won election to that position in 1930, 1932, and 1954 as a Democrat. In 1940, Toupin lost the mayoralty in the Democratic landslide of that year. Like McCoy, Lieutenant Governor Quinn also experienced frustration. His overriding goal since his entry into politics as a candidate for the House in 1922 had been a constitutional convention to reform and transform state government. This goal was also thwarted.

The Equal Rights Movement of the 1880s, led by Irish-American attorney Charles E. Gorman, a prominent Democrat, had demanded a constitutional convention to effect sweeping reforms in Rhode Island’s basic law, especially in the area of voting rights. That effort was stymied in 1883 by a Republican-dominated state supreme court, which rendered an advisory opinion to the Senate, 14 R.I. 649 (1883), declaring that a constitutional convention could not be convened either by the people (as the Dorrites had done) or by the General Assembly. This incredible and reactionary ruling endured until after the Democrats seized control of state government and the Supreme Court in the “Bloodless Revolution” of 1935.

The newly-elected Supreme Court promptly issued an advisory opinion to the governor on April 1. After considering numerous amicus briefs, this tribunal emphatically overruled the 1883 opinion of the Republican court that had found no mechanism or power able to convene a Rhode Island constitutional convention (55 R.I. 56). The Democrat-controlled tribunal, headed by Chief Justice Edmund Flynn, advised Governor Green that such power resided in the General Assembly under the residual powers clause of the 1843 constitution (Article IV, Section 10). Because the General Assembly had authorized the call of several conventions under the Charter regime (viz., 1824, 1834, 1841, and 1842), it could continue to do so using its residual powers, namely: “The General Assembly shall continue to exercise the powers they have heretofore exercised, unless prohibited in this [1843] Constitution.”

Having the ability to summon a convention was not equivalent to the ability to structure an effective and objective gathering of delegates. Here, the victorious Democrats squabbled and divided. Idealists among them, led by Quinn, insisted upon a balanced convention containing an equal number of delegates from each party; partisans led by Governor Green structured the 1935 convention act to ensure Democratic control. Rural Democrats feared that a convention would devise a reapportionment plan that would strip them of their influence in state affairs. In the face of such disunity, the Democratic legislature did not pass the 1935 convention act that had generated the new Supreme Court’s advisory opinion. In 1936, the effort was renewed with the introduction of a convention bill backed by Governor Green. Like the 1935 measure, it contained no provision for a popular vote on the question of holding a convention; it was partisan in nature, and it would give the convention unlimited power, including the decision to redistrict the state. Strong opposition at once developed, and it became evident that no bill enabling a convention to propose sweeping reapportionment would pass the closely divided Senate.

In the 1930 federal census, Providence, with an official population of 252,981, had 36.8 percent of the state’s population of 687,497. Any constitutionally mandated apportionment based upon the “one man-one vote” standard would endow the capital city with well over a third of each House of the General Assembly. This prospect alarmed not only rural Republicans but also Democrats from other municipalities. An increase of Providence senators from one in 1928 to eighteen in a fifty-member upper chamber was alarming unless you were a Providence voter or politician.

In the face of such opposition, legislative leaders devised a strategy. Since the Supreme Court had declared in its advisory opinion that only the people could restrict the scope of a constitutional convention, the proponents of the convention had to choose either an all-powerful body called into existence by the General Assembly (which could not restrict its scope) or a convention circumscribed by the people via the language of limitation inserted in the popular referendum authorizing the convention call.

The legislature chose the popular vote alternative. It amended the convention bill to provide for a special election on March 10, 1936 (less than two months after the bill’s passage) to elect delegates and to decide whether or not to hold a convention. The one restriction to be placed on the power of this body was clearly stated: the convention was to be “so limited that the present number of senators and representatives in the General Assembly of no city or town shall be decreased.” The Republicans campaigned vigorously against the convention, electors in the small towns remained apprehensive of change, and the disunited Democrats (Quinn excepted) did not efficiently mobilize the vote (although they added referenda to the March ballot, creating two new compulsory holidays — New Year’s Day and Columbus Day — to attract Italians and other working-class voters to the polls). The long-sought gathering was decisively aborted; 88,407 voters approved, but 100,488 rejected the convention act. With the defeat of The Constitutional Convention That Never Met (as Rhode Island native and Harvard law professor Zechariah Chafee, Jr., called it in two pamphlets describing the project’s fate), Rhode Island resorted to the limited constitutional convention device to effect change from the 1940s to 1973. This procedure circumvented the cumbersome amendment process placed in the constitution by its conservative Law and Order draftsmen.

Quinn’s aspirations for a constitutional convention were far broader than a modest Senate reapportionment that balanced urban and rural interests. In February 1936, as he stumped the state to advocate passage of the convention referendum, he listed such projected benefits as permanent voter registration, home rule for cities and towns, independence of the judiciary from the legislature (an ironic proposal for the architect of the court’s 1935 reorganization), “a government of separated powers” with three distinct branches, a ban on dual officeholding, budgetary power for the governor together with a line-item veto, simplification of the amendment procedure, popular initiative and referendum, and a property tax exemption for homeowners to the extent of $3,000.

Unfortunately for Quinn, even his running-mate Green backed away from his earlier support for a convention. As the governor’s laudatory biographer Erwin Levine admits, Green got Republican leaders to support his legislative agenda by abandoning his support for a constitutional convention. When Green stepped back, his bills were passed.

Quinn’s recommended reforms were broad, indicating his deep dissatisfaction with the current constitutional system. As I have shown in my book Neither Separate Nor Equal: Legislature and Executive in Rhode Island Constitutional History (1999), the 1843 constitution that emanated from the Dorr Rebellion was drafted by the Law and Order coalition that vanquished Dorr, and it was based upon Whig political theory. As such, it exalted the power of the General Assembly and left the governor constitutionally weak.

Quinn’s sweeping proposals sought to change Rhode Island’s constitutional Order. Like reformers Thomas Wilson Dorr, Charles E. Gorman, and Amasa Eaton, he failed, but his position, like theirs, has eventually prevailed. In 1951, the Home Rule Amendment was added to the state constitution; in the 1960s, the U.S. Supreme Court, in three major decisions, mandated the states to reapportion according to the “one man, one vote” principle, thus ending rural control of the Senate. As delegate and secretary of the 1973 limited Constitutional Convention, I drafted and sponsored an amendment (now Article XIV) that not only streamlined the amendment process but also provided a mechanism for the call of future constitutional conventions. After its ratification, I received a congratulatory phone call from Judge Quinn.

The 1986 Constitutional Convention made the governor’s budgetary power constitutional, giving permanence to the 1935 statute enacted by the “revolutionaries.” In 1994, an amendment took the election of Supreme Court justices from the General Assembly’s Grand Committee and placed it in the hands of the governor, acting in response to the recommendations of a Judicial Nominating Commission. It also gave those justices life tenure (i.e., “during good behavior”). Finally, in 2004, after a long battle by reformers, the voters approved amendments firmly establishing the principle of separation of powers that not only vacated the legislature’s role on all state boards and commissions but also unwisely repealed the legislature’s residual powers clause (Article VI, Section 10). Only Quinn’s Great Depression-inspired limited tax exemption for homeowners, voter initiative, and a line-item veto for the governor have not been implemented. His drive for constitutional reform had been his obsession.

Topping Quinn’s list of legislative reforms was a personal income tax that he called “the fairest form of taxation that could be devised” and a primary election law to blunt the influence of party bosses in selecting nominees for political office. Neither had a chance of passage during Quinn’s brief and turbulent incumbency, but here again, he was eventually vindicated. In 1947, Rhode Island legislators enacted a comprehensive direct primary system, and in 1971, Governor Frank Licht, at great expense to his popularity and political future, sponsored the enactment of a state income tax.

The one major triumph registered by Quinn in 1936 was his election as governor. He led the victorious slate of the five Democratic candidates for general office by outpolling former Republican attorney general Charles P. Sisson 160,776 to 137,369. Quinn replaced Governor Green, who had moved on to the U.S. Senate by defeating incumbent Jesse Metcalf, a popular and philanthropic businessman 149,146, to 136,149. The 1936 election, however, was a mixed blessing for Quinn. In reaction to this daring flip of the Senate in January 1935, the voters returned the upper chamber to Republican control by a lopsided margin of 27 to 15. A revengeful Senate (that included previously disqualified Wallace Campbell of South Kingstown) could, and did, block Quinn’s legislative agenda.

Uneasy is the head that wears the crown. Soon after his inauguration, Governor Quinn entered into a bitter feud with Narragansett racetrack mogul Walter O’Hara and his ally Mayor Tom McCoy in a confrontation reporter Westbrook Pegler and Life Magazine described for a national audience on November 8, 1937, as “The War of the Wild Irish Roses.”

Narragansett Park, a premier thoroughbred racing venue, opened in August 1934. It was a local anecdote to the Great Depression. Judge James Dooley, its principal founder, retained the services of O’Hara as Narragansett’s frontman, publicist, and promoter. O’Hara was able to attract many legendary horses to the track. On June 22, 1935, less than a year after its auspicious opening, the great Seabiscuit won his first race there.

However, Narragansett Park was also the scene of “horseplay.” In the Fall of 1937, Narragansett Park became the focal point of the bitter Democratic Party factionalism that had vexed state politics since the Bloodless Revolution of January 1935 brought that hungry party to power. Narragansett Race Track impresario Walter F. O’Hara had made huge donations to both major political organizations and employed numerous state legislators and party regulars in lucrative part-time posts at the track. He repeatedly lobbied for more racing dates and sought to limit the state’s take of the betting handle.

Intensely partisan but highly principled, Quinn resented what he viewed as O’Hara’s baneful influence on state government. When Quinn succeeded Green as governor in January 1937, the stage was set for a showdown between these two extremely combative Irishmen.

Former newsboy O’Hara had acquired two newspapers (the Pawtucket-Star and Peter Gerry’s Providence Tribune), which he merged in 1937 to create the Star Tribune. When Quinn intensified state surveillance of the track’s operation (with the enthusiastic backing of the moralistic Sevellon Brown’s Providence Journal ), O’Hara declared war on Quinn in the pages of the Star Tribune and strengthened his relationship with Mayor Thomas McCoy and House leader Harry Curvin, two of Quinn’s intraparty rivals.

The smoldering resentments ignited on September 2, 1937, when O’Hara’s guards beat and forcibly ejected Journal reporter John Aborn from the track. Quinn ordered his supporters on the State Racing Commission to investigate O’Hara’s long train of abuses and to rescind his right to operate Narragansett Park. When the commission promptly complied, McCoy used his influence with the new state supreme court (he had secured the appointments of Francis Condon of Central Falls and Chief Justice Edmund Flynn) to have the Racing Commission’s ruling quashed. Quinn countered by directing the commission to cancel Gansett’s fall racing dates, but once again, the high court blocked the move. Meanwhile, O’Hara let loose a barrage of libelous charges against the governor, including a headline implying that Quinn had “landed in Butler’s,” a private mental hospital in Providence.

“Battling Bob,” Quinn recklessly refused to be deterred. On October 16, 1937, one day after the second Supreme Court ruling and two days before the park was scheduled to open, he issued a proclamation declaring that the track and its environs were in a state of insurrection, thereby justifying the establishment of martial law. Three hundred national guardsmen armed with machine guns joined with state police to cancel the Fall meet.

McCoy and Curvin, who doubled as Pawtucket’s public safety director, dispatched the Pawtucket police to the track, but they wisely backed off. Reporter John Kieran of the New York Times observed that “In O’Hara’s case, they have sent more armed troops after one little man than against any other individual since [Mexican rebel] Pancho Villa was in his prime.”

During the Race Track War, military force had been augmented by a contentious and embarrassing legal battle where each side hurled charges like mortar shells. On September 9, immediately after O’Hara published his inflammatory and deceptive Butler headline, Quinn leveled the dubious charge of criminal libel against him. He was quickly arrested on that count and just as quickly bailed out by Mayor Tom McCoy, so O’Hara returned to his penthouse atop the Narragansett Park grandstand to continue the battle.

Then, while the criminal case was pending, Quinn sued O’Hara in a $500,000 civil action, to which O’Hara responded with a $500,000 libel suit of his own, charging that the governor had unjustly and falsely called him a “racketeer” who had “imported thugs and gangsters into the state.”

On October 20, Quinn delivered a radio address to the people of Rhode Island justifying his use of military force at the track and condemning the “corruption” he had uncovered in the track’s activities, especially Narragansett Racing Association’s lavish and illegal contributions to various politicians, most of them Democrats, to gain favorable terms for the park’s operation.

On November 12, Quinn’s allegations were made more specific when U.S. Attorney General J. Howard McGrath used a federal grand jury probe to indict O’Hara, his vice president, James E. Dooley, the Narragansett Racing Association, William A. Shawcross, chairman of the Democratic State Committee, and its former chairman, Thomas A. Kennelly, for violation of the federal Corrupt Practices Act by making or accepting illegal political donations of approximately $100,000. Again, the basis for these charges was questionable because the alleged wrongdoing was a state matter. Nonetheless, they indicated Quinn’s beliefs in principle over party and morality over monetary gain.

Like most legal actions, these matters lingered. Then, on April Fools Day, 1938, O’Hara made an amazing apology to Quinn. One news account stated that “the apology was so abject as to be startling.” O’Hara admitted that in “my newspaper” and “over the radio,” he had made untrue statements “to serve my own purpose” and “publicly avowed” that he never paid any money to Governor Quinn in any capacity. After this profound mea culpa, the “war” dragged slowly to a conclusion. O’Hara was out as Association president, and Quinn would soon be out as governor. All charges, civil and criminal, were eventually discontinued. This “tempest in a teapot,” together with a “map of the territory in insurrection,” has been analyzed and criticized by Harvard professor and attorney Zechariah Chafee in a 165-page treatise published in late 1937 entitled State House versus Pent House: Legal Problems of the Rhode Island Race Track Row. Chafee concluded that this bizarre incident revealed to Rhode Islanders “long-standing and long-suppressed infections” in the body politic that cry out for sweeping ethical reform.

The brawl with O’Hara was “Battling Bob’s” final main event. Because of his enormous and positive impact on Rhode Island politics, this diminutive gladiator — he was only 5′ 4″ in height in contrast to his lofty stature — could have been called” The Little Giant” had not Abe Lincoln’s adversary, Senator Stephen Douglas, preempted that soubriquet. Quinn won this bizarre battle, but it was a Pyrrhic victory. The national embarrassment to Rhode Island caused by the “Race Track War” contributed to his defeat in the 1938 election by William Vanderbilt, a contest in which he ran ten thousand votes behind the remainder of the Democratic ticket. O’Hara suffered greater wounds: he was ousted as president and manager of the Narragansett Racing Association by its stockholders; his newspaper went into receivership (after which the Journal acquired and destroyed much of the Star Tribune’s equipment); and he was indicted for illegal use of corporate funds (though these charges were later dropped). On February 28, 1941, O’Hara died on Route 44 in Taunton, Massachusetts as a result of a spectacular head-on auto crash that abruptly ended his turbulent career.

Unlike O’Hara, Narragansett Park recovered from the “war.” It reopened in 1938, and on September 19, 1942, it hosted one of the greatest match races of all time. In that head-to-head contest, 1941 Triple Crown winner Whirlaway lost to underdog Alsab by a nose in a race attended by 35,000 fans, with all three major radio networks providing live coverage. Later, in 1942, Whirlaway avenged his loss elsewhere by beating Alsab in a regular stakes race.

Newport millionaire William H. Vanderbilt — an avid horseman and the eldest son of Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, who had perished with the Lusitania — rode to the rescue of the recently deposed Republican party in the 1938 election. Helping Vanderbilt’s candidacy was the nationwide recession of 1937, which severely shook public confidence in the New Deal, as well as the scandalous Race Track War, which critically damaged the image of Governor Quinn and the local Democratic party.

Seizing the opportunity to regain power, the GOP nominated the honest, willing, and prestigious Vanderbilt to battle Quinn. The socialite, who had served several terms as senator from Portsmouth, prevailed (167,003 to 129,603), leading a Republican landslide at every level — the general officers, the Senate, and even the House. In heavily Democratic Providence, John F. Collins, running as a “Republican, Independent Citizens, Good Government” candidate, handily beat twelve-year Democrat incumbent James E. Dunne.

There was one notable exception to this string of victories, the Pawtucket mayoralty, where Thomas McCoy actually increased his 1936 margin of victory. In fact, the boss polled more ballots in some city districts than there were registered voters! Later, at a communion breakfast, while a state criminal probe of this phenomenon by GOP attorney general Louis V. Jackvony was underway, McCoy wryly explained the secret of his political survival: “We’re politically sophisticated in Pawtucket. Elsewhere, they use arithmetic to count votes; here, we use algebra.”

William Vanderbilt, the righteous “boy governor” (he was thirty-six when elected) was determined to bring the arrogant McCoy to justice. Despite his successful support of a state merit system law in 1939, ostensibly a positive achievement but one that denied Democrats the unfettered access to government jobs that the GOP had long enjoyed, Vanderbilt became ensnared in a wiretap controversy during his overzealous attempt to implicate McCoy in vote fraud. In 1940, the Democratic tide rolled in once more — this time for a long stay. United States District Attorney J. Howard McGrath, who had made political hay with Vanderbilt’s federally illegal wiretap, won the governorship and took a giant step upward in a political career that would include several high national offices, including Democratic national chairman, solicitor general, and attorney general of the United States.

Congressmen Aime J. Forand and John E. Fogarty also launched long and successful tenures in that 1940 campaign, as did Dennis J. Roberts, who became mayor of Providence under a new municipal charter that strengthened the powers of that city’s chief executive. For the Democrats, happy days were here for the first time since the early 1850s, except for the intransigent Senate, where the GOP held a six-vote edge. Meanwhile. a disillusioned, embarrassed, and bitter Vanderbilt rode off into the sunset, seldom returning to Rhode Island after his 1940 electoral defeat at the hands of his legal tormentor.

Quinn paved the way for a new generation of Democrat leaders. Shortly after that party returned to power in January 1941, Governor McGrath appointed Quinn a justice of the Superior Court. After several months on the bench, Quinn took a patriotic leave of absence (as he did in World War I) to serve in the Navy’s legal branch. During his four-year tenure, he rose to the rank of captain. Much of his service was in the Pacific theater, where his specialty was developing an expedited method of processing court-martial trials. He was cited both by the Navy and the Army for distinguished service as a veteran of both World Wars.

Upon his return to Rhode Island in 1945, Quinn gave some thought to a run for U.S. Senator, but his base had evaporated. He returned reluctantly to the Superior Court bench. However, his wartime experience brought him a change in venue. In 1951, Congress approved a new three-member U.S. Court of Military Appeals to which Quinn was nominated with the recommendation of U.S. Attorney J. Howard McGrath. The Senate confirmed Quinn as its first chief judge. He held this position until 1971, although he continued to serve on this panel until a month before his death in May 1975.

At Quinn’s death, he was survived by his wife, Mary; two sons, Robert L. Quinn and Cameron P. “Ronnie” Quinn, a state amateur golfing champion based at West Warwick Country Club; three daughters, Norma, Penelope, and Pauline; a sister, Dr. Maisie E. Quinn, who was a legendary Kent County educator; and twenty grandchildren.

Bob’s mentor, Colonel Patrick Quinn, predeceased him in March 1956 at the age of eighty-six. The colonel had partially transitioned from his hectic life as a politician and trial lawyer to an officer in two Pawtuxet Valley lace mills. In his older years, he had become a literal “lace curtain” Irishman. The colonel, however, still maintained a law practice with his son, Thomas. In the late 1940s, they hired and mentored a fledgling young lawyer named Joseph R. Weisberger, a future (and great) chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Weisberger recalled to me how Patrick and his nephew Bob, a frequent visitor to the office, were “excellent raconteurs” who regaled him with stories of their exploits during the raucous decades of the Twenties and Thirties.

“Fighting” Bob Quinn was buried not far from his uncle in the Quinn Family Cemetery on the property of the West Warwick Country Club. Finally, both of these dynamic, battling Irishmen could rest in peace.

Judge Alberic A. Archambault

Alberic Archambault was born in St. Cesaire, Province of Quebec, Canada on February 9, 1888, one of 14 children of Lucien Archambault (1850–1922) and Marie Anne Gareau (1851–1940). The family emigrated to the United States in 1889 and settled in the West Warwick village of Natick.

Archambault obtained his early education at St. John the Baptist School in the village of Arctic, then went on to LaSalle Academy, St. Hyacinthe College, P.Q. Canada, and graduated from the Boston University School of Law in 1908. That same year he was admitted to the Rhode Island Bar.

Three years later, on August 11, 1911, Alberic married Louise A. Dion (1892–1967). From 1913 to 1927 seven children were born to the couple: Justa, Cecile, Françoise, Dion, Raymond, Gerald, and Aline. The family lived in a spacious home at 1384 Main Street, West Warwick.

Even with a family and law practices in Providence, West Warwick and Woonsocket, Alberic found time to immerse himself in politics, real estate, and writing.

He began his political career in 1912 serving as city solicitor in Warwick. He was one of the key figures in the division of Warwick, a 1913 partition orchestrated by Patrick Henry Quinn, that separated the mill villages of Warwick’s western side from the more agricultural eastern section. After the partition, Alberic became West Warwick’s first senator. Then, in 1918, he was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for governor, but as a reward for his effort, he was made chairman of the Democratic State Committee. Archambault served again as West Warwick’s senator from 1925 to 1929 and in 1928 made another unsuccessful run for governor, losing by a narrow margin. In 1935 Governor Theodore Francis Green appointed him to an associate judgeship on the state Superior Court, a position he held with distinction until his death in 1950.

What is not immediately evident in this mere listing of Archambault’s political positions is the fact that he was the first Franco-American Democratic candidate for governor (1918), a run he unsuccessfully repeated in 1928; he was the first of his ethnic group to serve as Democratic state party chairman; he was a principal ally of Felix Toupin, Patrick Henry Quinn, and Robert Emmet Quinn in attempting to reform the state’s constitutional system; and, especially, he was the leader, with Toupin, in attracting the Franco-American vote to the Democratic Party. These long-forgotten exploits during the 1920s, earned him that Superior Court judgeship on January 10, 1935 in the immediate aftermath of the famous Bloodless Revolution.

Archambault was also a major real estate developer. In 1925, when Route 3 was constructed, the new highway spurred development, especially on the shore of Lake Tiogue in Coventry. Archambault saw an opportunity to establish a summer colony around the lake. He bought all the land from the beach near the former Tiogue Vista (built in 1929) to the causeway of Twin Lakes on Arnold Road. There he developed the Tiogue Pine Beach and Tiogue Twin Lakes plats.

In the late 1920s, he conceived the idea of building a lakeside restaurant in a structure resembling an ocean liner with a bow and stern and a cocktail deck at the second story level. The initial location of the “Showboat” was on Arnold Road along the westerly shore of Lake Tiogue. In 1937 it was moved across the lake to a site on Route 3. Alberic owned the Showboat until the 1930s when it was sold to Alphé (Kid) Blier (aka Blair) who added a long shoreside dining room. Kid Blair operated the Showboat as a restaurant and banquet facility until it was engulfed by fire on January 16, 1976.

During World War II, Archambault purchased a large tract of land in the Quidnick section of Coventry. He divided it into house lots, designated the plat Truman Heights, and named the streets after his children.

The versatile Archambault wrote two books. The Samsons, published in 1941, revealed his concern with the impending war in Europe that led to the Holocaust and Jewish persecution. In it he expressed his views about the political, social, and economic undercurrents in the country at that time. His second book, Mill Village, published in 1943, is a historical novel about the French-Canadians who emigrated to the United States to work in the textile mills of southern New England. In this volume he relays much of his own experiences as a youth.

Judge Archambault passed away on November 26, 1950 at the age of 63. At his funeral a large gathering of family and friends, together with church, state, and local dignitaries, assembled at St. John the Baptist Church in Arctic to pay tribute to a man who had accomplished so much in his life. At his passing the Providence Journal stated that: “He was Rhode Island’s most colorful and outspoken judge during his years in court.” He and Louise are buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, West Warwick.

Presiding Justice Louis W. Cappelli

Louis W. Cappelli was born in Providence on April 14, 1894, the son of Italian immigrants. He would eventually become a lawyer, a politician, Rhode Island’s secretary of state, lieutenant governor, judge, and finally, presiding justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court.

Cappelli received a quality education, graduating from LaSalle Academy in 1912 and Brown University in 1916. Following overseas service in the U.S. Army during World War I, he entered Yale Law School from which he graduated in 1922. In 1923 he became a member of the bar.

One year later, Cappelli made his first run for public office as the Democratic party’s candidate for Providence city treasurer; but lost to his Republican opponent, the incumbent Clarence E. Cray. However, his strong showing in the heavily Italian Tenth Ward (Federal Hill) was recognized by the Irish leadership of the Democratic party who were looking to run popular and talented ethnic candidates for office. The fact that Cappelli’s new wife, Catherine, was an Irish-American also worked in his favor.

The Democrats nominated the Ivy League-educated Cappelli for statewide office in 1930 as their candidate for secretary of state making him the first Italo-American to run for a statewide office in Rhode Island. Cappelli was defeated by the Republican incumbent, Ernest L. Sprague. Two years later, however, the persistent Cappelli ran again. By defeating Sprague in this rematch, he became the first Italian-American to win general office in Rhode Island. His victory inspired many of his fellow Italian-Americans to support the Democratic Party.

Cappelli was a true trailblazer in the Italo-American community. In 1940, he moved up the political ladder to become the first Italo-American lieutenant governor. He was elected again to this office in 1942, but in April 1944, before his second term expired, he was appointed an associate justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court.

Ironically, if Cappelli had stayed in the office of lieutenant governor for another term he would have become the first Italian-American governor of Rhode Island when the sitting governor, J. Howard McGrath, vacated that office in October, 1945 after President Harry Truman appointed him Solicitor General of the United States. Instead, the honor of being the state’s first Italo-American governor would go to John O. Pastore who had succeeded Cappelli by winning the lieutenant governorship in the election of 1944.

Judge Cappelli served with dedication on Superior Court for the next twenty-two years until his death in 1966. He had reached the status of presiding justice on February 17, 1959. Cappelli was recognized by the Italo-American Club of Rhode Island in 1963 as its outstanding Italo-American man-of-the-year. His other great honor was his designation by the Pope as a Knight of St. Gregory in recognition of his personal service to the Roman Catholic Church. Cappelli’s son, John, followed his father to the bench becoming an associate judge of the Rhode Island District Court in 1979.

Judge Luigi Depasquale

Judge Luigi DePasquale exemplifies the rapid political, social, and economic rise of Rhode Island’s first generation Italian-Americans. Born on December 13, 1892 in Providence to Italian immigrant parents, Antonio and Maria (Vitale) DePasquale, Luigi was raised in Milford, Massachusetts, where his father became an undertaker. He graduated from Boston University Law School in 1913 at the age of twenty. In 1914, Luigi returned to his native state to practice law. This precocious and brilliant attorney then entered politics and won election as a state representative from Providence in 1917 at the age of twenty-three, becoming the youngest member of the General Assembly.

Luigi became very active in Democratic party politics serving as treasurer of the Democratic State Committee from 1920 to 1922 and assuming the chairmanship of that body from 1924 to 1928. It would not be an exaggeration to state that he led Rhode Island’s Italian-American voters from their traditional Republican party allegiance into the Democratic party. When Alberic Archambault and Felix Toupin performed the same feat for the state’s Franco-Americans, a New Deal ethno-cultural alliance was formed that assured the Democratic party of political dominance for the next several decades.

De Pasquale was a delegate to the 1920, 1924 and 1928 Democratic national conventions and secured election to the state senate in 1934. Here he participated prominently in the famous “Bloodless Revolution” of 1935 and was rewarded with the judgeship of the influential Sixth District in June, 1935. The Sixth District Court included the City of Providence, and from its powerful bench Judge DePasquale presided over the minor civil and criminal calendars of the capital city for more than two decades.

His biographical profile in Bichnell’s History of Rhode Island states that Luigi was “a very conspicuous figure in the general life of the community, especially in connection with the interest and affairs of his fellow Italians here.” He married Marie Michard by whom he had three children — Marie, Beatrice, and Eva.

DePasquale died on May 3, 1958. Fittingly, the Providence City Council promptly changed the name of Balboa Street on Federal Hill to DePasquale Avenue. Then, Mayor Vincent Cianci orchestrated the conversion of that street into DePasquale Plaza — the centerpiece of his Federal Hill revitalization.

DePasquale’s legacy lives on not only through his memorial plaza but also through his grandson, Joseph R. Paolino, Jr. who became the mayor of Providence in 1984 and served the city with distinction for nearly seven years before his appointment as U.S. ambassador to Malta.

Lieutenant Governor and Mayor Felix A. Toupin

Felix A. Toupin was born on August 31, 1886 in the Lincoln mill village of Manville to French Canadian immigrants Dieudonne and Mary (Proulx) Toupin. His intelligence prompted his parents to sacrifice in order to provide him with a good education at LaSalle Academy and Joliette Seminary in Quebec. In 1913 he graduated from Boston University School of Law.

After service in World War I, Toupin began to practice law in Lincoln and Woonsocket, engage in real estate development, and become involved in politics. In 1920 he was elected Democratic state representative from the Manville section of Lincoln. Quickly, his oratory, assertiveness, and proud Franco-American heritage won him the party’s nomination as lieutenant governor in 1922 after several Republican political blunders weakened the GOP’s hold on the French vote. During that campaign he toured the French neighborhoods and mill villages denouncing the bill sponsored by Republican state chairman Frederick Peck that mandated the use of English in school instruction — even in Franco-American parochial schools.

After winning the election, Toupin, his running mate, governor William Flynn of South Providence, and Senator Robert Emmet Quinn of West Warwick attempted to implement a reform agenda, especially the call of a constitutional convention to broaden the suffrage and equalize representation in the state senate.

The 1922 electoral landslide gave Democrats control of the House but the malapportioned, rural-based Senate remained narrowly in Republican hands. However, Toupin, as lieutenant governor, was the Senate’s presiding officer. In 1924 after many legislative deadlocks and filibusters, a House-passed bill authorizing a constitutional convention was taken up by the Senate.

The Democratic minority, led by Quinn and Toupin, staged a marathon filibuster to force weary Republicans to pass the constitutional convention bill. The strategy of Toupin was to wear some of the elderly Republicans down and then call for a vote on the question when they snoozed or strayed.

In the 42nd hour of the filibuster, as the vigilant Democrats awaited the success of this scheme, Republican party managers authorized some thugs imported from Boston to detonate a bromine gas bomb under Toupin’s rostrum. As the fiery Woonsocket politician keeled over unconscious, senators scrambled for the doors. Within hours most of the Republican majority was transported across the state line into Massachusetts, where Toupin’s summons could not reach them. There they stayed (Sundays excepted) until a new Republican administration assumed office in January 1925.

Ironically, the defeat of the Democrats in the 1924 state elections was due in part to the fact that the Providence Journal wrongly accused them of the bombing. The newspaper had particular reason to discredit the Democrats that year, inasmuch as Jesse H. Metcalf, brother of the Journal’s president, was the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in the fall election against incumbent governor William S. Flynn. The paper’s strategy worked.

To stem the defection of Franco-Americans from the Republican party, popular ex-governor Aram Pothier was summoned from retirement to battle Felix Toupin in the 1924 governor’s race. With the Democrats unjustly blamed for the stink-bomb incident, Pothier and the GOP won a decisive victory in this unprecedented battle between Franco-American leaders, but Toupin outpolled Pothier in Woonsocket by 1100 votes!

In 1930 Toupin withdrew from the state’s political wars and moved from Manville to run for mayor of Woonsocket. He beat his Republican opponent by more than a two-to-one margin. As the city’s chief executive he governed the city in a fiscally responsible manner during the Great Depression, although he was often at odds with the city council and other departments of city government. His policies reflected the philosophy of Woonsocket’s business community regarding economy in government. He was frugal and efficient as chief executive.

Despite labor unrest Toupin easily won reelection in 1932 and again in 1934 as Democrats swept all offices. However, when Toupin was unfairly by-passed by the state Democratic Party in the aftermath of the Bloodless Revolution of 1935, the mercurial and feisty Toupin left the party and, amazingly, ran for a fourth term as a Republican. He was defeated by Democrat Joseph Pratt — 10,584 votes to 7,310.

Undaunted, Toupin made a comeback in 1938 when the state Democratic Party suffered the effects of a national recession and the infamous Race Track War. In 1940 a strong Democratic revival ousted Mayor Toupin for good. He became the man without a party, although he continued to speak out on local issues.

In 1955, Felix came out of retirement to challenge the very popular Democratic mayor Kevin K. Coleman, a Hall of Fame inductee. The incumbent Coleman, who easily won election in 1953 with 68% of the vote, barely edged Toupin who made an earnest plea for the support of the city’s dominant Franco-American community. The veteran campaigner lost by only 795 votes of the 20,165 cast.

A man of boundless energy and daring, Toupin was one of the most dynamic Rhode Island politicians of the 20th century. Like Alberic Archambault, his greatest significance was the leadership role he played in attracting Rhode Island’s Franco-American voters to the Democratic Party, but a reward for that political feat escaped him while the other four main transitional politicians — Quinn, Archambault, and Italian-American leaders Louis Cappelli and Luigi DePasquale — all gained judgeships.

Toupin’s first wife Delia Chapon died in 1962; he then married Blanche Lavimodiere the following year. When Toupin died on October 7, 1965 at the age of seventy-nine, Blanche survived him. He is buried in St. James Cemetery in Lincoln.

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