Gaspee Days CommitteeHistory Files
Gaspee Song
'Twas in the reign of George the Third,
Our public peace was much disturbed
By ships of war that came and laid
Within our ports, to stop our trade.
Seventeen hundred and seventy-two,
In Newport Harbor lay a crew
That played the parts of pirates there,
The sons of freedom could not bear.
Sometimes they weighed and gave them chase,
Such actions, sure, were very base.
No honest coaster could pass by
But what they would let some shot fly;
And did provoke, to high degree,
Those true born sons of liberty;
So that they could no longer bear
Those sons of Belial staying there.
But 'twas not long 'fore it fell out,
That William Dudingston, so stout,
Commander of the "Gaspee" tender,
Which he has reason to remember,
Because, as people do assert,
He almost had his just desert;
Here, on the tenth day of last June,
Betwixt the hours of twelve and. one,
Did chase the sloop, called the "Hannah",
Of whom one Lindsay was commander.
They dogged her up Providence Sound,
And there the rascal got aground.
The news of it flew that very day
That they on Namquit Point did lay.
That night after half past ten
Some Narragansett Indian men,
Being sixty-four, if. I remember,
Which made the stout coxcomb surrender;
And what was best of all their tricks,
They in his breech a ball did fix;
Then set the men upon the land,
And burnt her up, we understand;
Which thing provoked the King so high
He said those men shall surely die;
So if he could but find them out,
The hangman he'll employ, no doubt;
For he's declared, in his passion,
He'll have them tried a new fashion,
Now, for to find these people out,
King George has offered very stout,
One thousand pounds to find out one
That wounded William Dudingston.
One thousand more, he says he'll spare,
For those who say sheriffs were;
One thousand more there doth remain
For to find out the leader's name;
Likewise, five hundred pounds per man
For any one of all the clan.
But let him try his utmost skill,
I'm apt to think he never will
Find out any of those hearts of gold,
Though he should offer fifty fold.
For an interesting discussion regarding the origins of this poem, see:
Back to Top    |    Back to Gaspee Days Committee History files    |   Back to Gaspee Virtual Archives
Rev. 4/2009    GaspeeSong.htm