When the Gaspee
entered the waters of Narragansett Bay outside Newport in 1772, revolutionary Rhode Island
was a hotbed of traders, smugglers and anti-British sentiment. In just a few months, the ship would be burned and its commander shot by possibly the first gunfire of the American Revolution
. Join author Rory Raven as he recounts the events leading up to and after the burning of the Gaspee by Rhode Island colonists. Raven colorfully paints the characters of Lieutenant Dudingston, the Gaspee’s hated leader, and the larger-than-life figure of John Brown, the main instigator and future Patriot. Though the smoke lifted, the bloody clash left its indelible imprint on the history of Rhode Island—and helped set the course for the fledgling nation.
The Gaspee was a ship of the Royal Navy that Rhode Island patriots captured and burned in Narragansett Bay in 1772, provoking a strong British reaction. Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams and other refugees from religious intolerance in Massachusetts. The American Revolution started earlier than the War of Independence and last until peace was signed in 1783.