There are two purposes for Comments in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Comments can either add information to aid in the understanding of the entry or add information that provides an alternate interpretation of the historical record.

Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Comment is entirely responsible for its content.

It should be pointed out that many people believed that the shooting of Deputy Sheriff Williams was staged. It was reported in the Daily Arkansas Gazette on July 10, 1872, "The general opinion seems to have been that he did the shooting himself in order to raise the cry of ku-klux and bring trouble upon the good people of the county."
It was the belief of many citizens that Sheriff Dodson staged the attempted assassination to encourage the governor to issue martial law so that they would have more force in dealing with the individuals who were resisting and scrutinizing how the county government was run.  
Wade Doshier
Jonesboro, AR

There is further information to be found in "A New York Newspaper Reporter Provides Extensive, On-the-Site Coverage of The Pope County, Arkansas Revolt Against Reconstruction" with interviews of Dover Citizens, Jacob L. Shinn of Russellville, State Officials, and Participants on both sides, copied by Milton C. Tucker, and a copy can be located in the Pope County Library, 116 E. 3rd St., Russellville, AR, 72801. This is of interest to me, because Elisha W. Dodson was my great-great-great grandfather.
Shirley Alvarado
Springdale, AR