GaspeeVirtual Archives
Benjamin Hammond

The Gaspee Days Committee at www.gaspee.COM is a civic-minded nonprofit organization that operates many community events in and around Pawtuxet Village, including the famous Gaspee Days Parade each June. These events are all designed to commemorate the 1772 burning of the hated British revenue schooner, HMS Gaspee, by Rhode Island patriots as America's 'First Blow for Freedom' TM.  Our historical research center, the Gaspee Virtual Archives at www.gaspee.ORG , has presented these research notes as an attempt to gather further information on one who has been suspected of being associated with the the burning of the Gaspee. Please e-mail your comments or further questions to
Evidence implicating Benjamin Hammond:

From: Stone, Edward Martin. The Life and Recollections of John Howland, Late President of the Rhode Island Historical Society.  Providence, Geo. H. Whitney, 1857, p36:
Before dark eight boats were manned, and Abraham Whipple appointed commander.  We boys took another boat and chose Ben Hammond as our Captain.  He was a fear nothing fellow,  with a lock of knotty red hair standing through the hole in his hat.
Justin Jacobs, Benjamin Hammond, Paul Allen, John Kilton, Simeon Olney - Providence residents known to have taken part in the raid on the Gaspee.

John Howland - Important community leader in Rhode Island after the American Revolution. He was 14 years old in 1772, and stood on the dock at Fenner's Wharf as the longboats pulled out to attack the Gaspee. Years later, he wrote a brief memorandum about it in which he named several of the participants.

Natalie Robinson, the author of Revolutionary Fire: The Gaspee Incident probably got this list of names of participants in the Gaspee affair from the notes of John Howland, the original director of the RI Historical Society.  Howland undoubtedly knew many of these men personally through his life.  The names Robinson cites are otherwise uncited by other known participants, such as Ephraim Bowen and John Mawney, and is not cited by Staples.
Biographical Notes:
We know very little about this individual who we acknowledge as a true revolutionary patriot.  The following snippets are all we have gathered:
Per the RI Historical Cemeteries Database, there is only one possibility.:
HAMMOND, BENJAMIN (no dates) at CR550 BENJAMIN HAMMOND LOT, CRANSTON         *LOST*. We have no idea which Benjamin Hammond this would be.


This last one could be our Benjamin Hammond's son. Both are lost grave sites, so we'll never know more at this point.

From USGenWeb, there is a Hammond, Benj’n on Page 0655 listed in the 1800 FEDERAL CENSUS INDEX TO ONLINE IMAGES, Washington County, RI. This would, again, probably be our Benjamin Hammond's son

There are no listings of a Benjamin Hammond in the 1790 Federal Census in Rhode Island, however, or in the historical papers on-line except a report in the Newport Mercury of 6Apr1799 indicating that the Newport Association of Merchants and Manufacturers appointed a Benjamin Hammond to their Correspondence Committee.  History of Providence County, (New York: W.W.Preston & Co, 1891), p395" Hammond Street, probably from Deacon James Hammond, an eccentric but well meaning man who for many years was town sergeant of Providence, and died in 1831, at the age of 80 years.

The Town of Pharsalia  Pharsalia is in  Chenango County, upstate NY,  28 miles from Homer, NY in the adjoining Cortland County where some other Gaspee raiders made their homestead

1800 - Col. John RANDALL moved his family to Norwich leaving his son, Col. Denison, to run the farm. Col. Denison lived there until his death Oct. 18, 1824. The first settlers were soon followed by Joseph LORD, Jabish and Benjamin BROWN, Lewis BROWN, Asa WEAVER, John COATES, Winlock ECCLESTON, Jeffrey LAMPHERE, Noah GRANT, Jairus Frink, Luke BABCOCK, Prentice FRINK, Stephen FRISBEE, Philoman FRISBEE, Nathaniel PRICE, Vine STAR, the pioneer blacksmith, Gurdon WILLIAMS, Nathaniel WALDRON, Augustus and Edwin WHITING, Daniel KINNEY, Russel STEWART, Timothy BOSWORTH, Joshua FARGO, Ephraim MINER, Able NEWTON, William LEWIS, Elijah POWELL, Benjamin HAMMOND, Nathaniel, Avery and Russell BROWN, Joel CRANE, Ezra BURDICK, and others.
Additional suggestions that this might be our Benjamin Hammond comes from USGenWeb for NY:
Joseph HAMMOND was born in Rhode Island in 1767, removed to Chenango county in 1800, and came to this town in 1830, where he died in 1848, and where his wife, Anna TALBOT, died in 1836. They reared several children.
We do know that a Phebe HAMMOND (1740-1772) was Tavern owner James Sabin's first wife married  27 JAN 1765 in Providence, RI. This is our most likely connection, and it is likely that the Benjamin Hammond that burnt the Gaspee was a brother of Phebe. Complicating this is that Phebe Hammond's gravestone next to that of her husband James Sabin is spelled Phebe Hamman, and the stone of her mother Anne Hammon, the wife of one Jonathan Hammon.  The spelling variations make it difficult to track via computer searches.  Many thanks to George Hammond for ferreting all this out.

Another interesting piece if information is found in the 1777 Military Census.  In the Providence listing appears: Jonathan Hammon, age 50-60, available to bear arms.  Also appearing: Benjn Hamman, age 16-50, available to bear arms. The 1774 census of Providence lists a Jonathan Hamman as head of a household totaling 11 folks.

One Pollipus Hammond was listed as the master of a Rhode Island based privateer The Two Friends that was captured by the enemy during the French & Indian War while carrying 130 slaves and 28 elephant tusks.

According to RIGendex files on North Kingstown, RI:

About 1812 the mill and part of the farm were sold to Benjamin Hammond and it has since been known as "Hammond’s Mills," also "The Birth place of Gilbert Stuart."
Genealogical Notes:
From old Gendex genealogy files old there are at least eight possibilities, but we have no good clue as to which one would be our suspect, and all are from southeastern New England
#1. Benjamin HAMMOND
BORN: 1704,
Son of John Hammond and Elizabeth (Mary) Arnold

#2. Benjamin Hammond. Born on 28 Jul 1718 in Scituate, MA.
At the age of 5, Benjamin was baptized in Second Church Of Scituate on 17 May 1724.
Father: Jedediah Hammond
Mother: Elizabeth Parker 
#3. Benjamin HAMMOND

Born: 2 APR 1719 at: of Sandwich, Barnstable, MA
Married: 24 MAR 1742/1743 at: Dartmouth, Bristol, MA
Wife: Hannah GIFFORD

#4. Benjamin Hammond 3d, of Rochester (this is Rochester, MA in Plymouth County)
Son of Thomas Hammond and Sarah Spooner.
Birth: 22 Mar 1721 in Dartmouth, MA (alt 17 Mar 1721 in New Bedford, MA)
Hannah Gifford (Wife)
Marriage: 24 MAR 1742/43 in Dartmouth, Bristol Co, MA
Children:   Rebecca Hammond

This is the closest to Providence of all the Benjamin Hammonds.  New Bedford is a famous seafaring town, that makes a nice link to what we would expect of a Gaspee raider.

#5. Benjamin HAMMOND
Father: Nathaniel Hammond
Mother: Margaret Stone (1688 - 1776) m 1710, Granddaughter of Mary Whipple (1634 - 1720) m 1656
BORN: 7 JUN 1724, Newton, Massachusetts
DIED:  Jan 1783 in Newton. MA
MARRIED: 5  OCT 1749 Sarah BROWN, BORN: 14 MAR 1726/27, DIED: 19 MAR 1800,
Father: William BROWNE b: 3 SEP 1684 in Watertown, Middlesex Cty., MA
Mother: Sarah BOND b: 30 MAY 1690 in Watertown, Middlesex Cty., MA
Nathaniel HAMMOND
Ebenezer HAMMOND
Jonathan HAMMOND
Benjamin HAMMOND died at 3 months age
Lucretia HAMMOND
Elizabeth HAMMOND
Benjamin HAMMOND b17 Jun 1768 in Newton, Middlesex Co, MA married  Mary HOVEY
This Benjamin is a stand out candidate, since he has both Whipples and Browns in his relatives, and we have established that many of the Gaspee raiders were interrelated. We haven't yet established a Rhode Island connection, however, and Newton, MA is about 50 miles north of Providence. According to the DAR lineage at: :
Benjamin Hammond (1729-1809) served as lieutenant colonel of militia and as chairman of the Committee of Safety. He held many important offices during the revolution. He was born and died in Newton.
The dates of birth and death are off, this could be two separate Benjamin Hammonds hailing from Newton, but the Benjamin Hammond in each date married a Sarah Brown, so we are most probably talking about the same individual.

#6. Name: Benjamin HAMMOND
Born: 5 MAY 1730 at: Rochester, Plymouth, MA
Son of Barzillai Hammond and  Mary Barlow
Susanna Meigs (Wife) Marriage: 4 July 1758 
#7. Benjamin Hammond

Birth: 14 Aug 1748 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Sex: M
Father: William Hammond
Mother: Hannah Peach
Mary Dennis (Wife1) Marriage: 3 JUL 1767 in Marblehead, Essex Co, MA
Benjamin Hammond  b1767 ( a little early?)
John Hammond
William Hammond
Edward Hammond
Mary Hammond
Hannah Hammond
Anna Nancy Dennis Hammond
Sally Dennis Hammond
Jane Sweetland (Wife2) Marriage: 8 MAR 1785 in Marblehead,Essex,Massachusetts . 

We note from NEHGS records that a Benjamin Hammon out of neighboring Danvers, MA was listed as having been on the crew of the ship Hannibal, taken Sept, 1780, and he was listed as being imprisoned in the notorious Old Mill Prison in January 1781.

#8. Benjamin HAMMOND

5 APR 1756 - 16 JUN 1843
BIRTH: 5 APR 1756, Rochester, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts
DEATH: 16 JUN 1843, Rochester, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts
Father: Antipas (Lt.) HAMMOND
Mother: Abigail SWIFT
Wife1: Lydia HASKELL   MARRIAGE: 22 OCT 1780, Rochester, Plymouth Co., Massachusetts
Wife2: Anna Jenny - Sept. 1, 1784, Rochester, MA

Per the 1770 List of Providence Taxpayers, the only Hammond listed is a Jonathan B. Hammond. (IIIB4), which would put him on the East Side neighborhood of Providence, as were many of the known Gaspee raiders. In fact, he lived nearly across North Main Street from John, Nicholas, and Joseph Brown. George Hammond's records showed that a  Jonathan Hammon(d) married Ann Sheldon, 01 May 1740.  It is a possibility that Jonathan B. (?B for Benjamin?) Hammond was the father of both Phebe Hammond and a Benjamin Hammond. As discussed above, Phebe went on to marry James Sabin. George Hammond discovered the gravesites in the Old North Burial Ground of Phebe Hamman nearby that of her husband James Sabin, and her mother:

In Memory of; Mrs Anne Hammon, Ye Wife of Jonathan; Hammon & Daughter;
of Mr Daniel Sheldon; & Mrs Cheifrian his; Wife. Died April Ye; 26th 175? in Ye 29; year of her age.

There was also a small stone for an Anne Hammon daughter of Jonathan and Ann Hammon who died at 3 months. He could not locate a stone for Jonathan Hammon or of Benjamin Hammon(d).

This is all highly speculative, regarding a Benjamin Hammond, however, of whatever spelling. There are no Revolutionary War records through HeritageQuest for any Benjamin Hammond or Hammon.
While we know very little about Benjamin Hammond, or even which of several Benjamin Hammond, Hamman or Hammon is the correct one, if any, the Gaspee Days Committee recognizes him for his role in attacking the HMS Gaspee, and therefore considers him a true American patriot.
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Originally Posted to Gaspee Virtual Archives 8/2002    Last Revised 08/2009    BenjaminHammond.htm