Gaspee Days CommitteeHistory Files

BowenCaneThe Ephraim Bowen Gaspee Cane

Mr. Curtis Coleman from Florida contacted us in 2000 regarding an historical cane that alledgedly was carved from a handrail of the HMS Gaspee.  Ephraim Bowen, one of the last surviving Gaspee Raiders was known to have made at least four canes, allegedly from the wood of the Gaspee, and displayed these during a political exhibition in Pawtuxet Village c1804.

Mr. Coleman's claim is that his father in Rhode Island was a well-versed historian and proudly displayed the cane on local radio talk shows, and talked about its heritage and the Gaspee Affair.  The cane has been a prized family heirloom for generations, and is the only known privately held Ephraim Bowen cane. There is  one other such cane in the possession of the Rhode Island Historical Society which can be seen at the John Brown Mansion in Providence.

While it is probably impossible to authenticate the cane as being from the Gaspee, per se, we have no reason to suspect otherwise.  This cane appears exceptional smooth, and was not likely hand-carved.  

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Rev. 7/2008    ColemanCane.htm