Relationships between those that burned the Gaspee
Relationships by Blood and Marriage
Genealogical analysis reveals that the many of the known Gaspee raiders were related to at least one other raider. Iím not a genealogist, and trying to keep track of all the interrelationships gives one a headache. But of the 32 identified to date, and as of 1772;
This list above does not include people who arenít definitely known to be on the attacking party. There are other co-conspirators and people possibly involved who were also related to the known attackers. All of these people were obviously well connected, and even more relationships by marriage were established after the burning of the Gaspee.
Relations by Neighborhood
period maps of
Relationships by Employment
There were two main age groups among the attackers. The most important of which all was comprised of experienced seas captains of age late 20s to 40 years old or more. These men included: Samuel Dunn, Rufus Greene, John B. Hopkins, Benjamin Lindsey, Captain Shepard, Robert Sutton, Thomas Swan, and the tactical leader of the attack, Abraham Whipple. These people had the respect and support of the maritime community of which they were employed, several of which were directly employed by John Brown and his business associates.
The other age group was surprisingly young, 17 to 21 year old. Some may have been caught up in militia training which was scheduled for the very day that the Gaspee ran aground. Many may have been involved in apprenticeship programs at the shipyards also operated by John Brown and others at India Point. In either event, there was a large group of interested men assembled in the immediate environs when the decision came to attack. including Ephraim Bowen, Abial Brown, Joseph Bucklin, Justin Jacobs, Simeon Olney, Joseph Harris, Benjamin Page, and Turpin Smith. Some fifteen miles down the Bay, most of the attackers from Warren-Bristol area were of similar age and likely employed on the wharves.
But it has
long been acknowledged that many of the men taking
part in the attack on the Gaspee were
prominent and well-dressed merchants from
Edward Field, in discussing the health and medical
In the latter part of the
eighteenth century the principal manufacturing
Specific distilleries found in 1770
The following is excepted from: Life of Thomas Jefferson: third President of the United States by James Parton, James R. Osgood & Co., 1874, page 111:
Considering the circumstances, we cannot be surprised at the bad account given of the Rhode-Islanders by Archdeacon Burnaby, who visited them towards the close of the French War. A cunning, deceitful people, he calls them, who, " live almost entirely by unfair and illicit trading," and their " magistrates are partial and corrupt." The English traveller adds this remark: " Were the governor to interpose his authority, were he to refuse to grant flags of truce, or not to wink at abuses, he would, at the expiration of the year, be excluded from his office, the only thing, perhaps, which he has to subsist upon." But then, according to this Tory archdeacon, the people themselves had little to subsist upon except the illicit trade...
That alcohol was a driving force in the economy of
The local economy that had grown so dependent on
rum and gin sales was now threatened with certain
strangulation had the British continued to enforce
their customs duties on the free trade of molasses
and rum. No wonder then, that these prominent
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