GaspeeVirtual Archives
Hezekiah Kinnicutt (1743-1828)

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
While blissfully preparing for Christmas 2005, we were presented with the following surprise e-mail from Pam R. Thompson who was doing some genealogical research of her own.

I found the following curious entry in the Revolutionary War Pension File, #S21404, for Ezra Ormsbee, born 30 March 1751 in Warren, RI, son of Ebenezer Ormsbee (sometimes spelled Ormsby) and Hannah Cole (Benjamin3, Hugh2, James1)  Ezra applied for his pension in Warren, RI, on 24 August 1833.
". In June 1772 when the English Revenue Cutter Gaspee was burnt in Providence River, I was one that went from this town and helped do it. Capt John Greenwood, James Smith, Abner Luther, Abel Easterbrooks, Nathaniel Easterbrooks, Hezekiah Kinnicut and myself went together in a whale boat and we helped burn her. I mention this merely as a revolutionary incident and not as connected with my pension claim. All the above named persons who were with me in burning the Gaspee have a long time now decd."
I do not find any of these names on your lists of participants.

We have long known that people from the Bristol and Warren, RI area participated in the attack, but we have only known of the names of Simeon Potter, and possibly Thomas Swan.  In fact, we only know the names of about half of the 64 men alleged to have participated in the attack on the Gaspee. This gives us a first hand list of an additional seven men to investigate to be patriots of the forthcoming American Revolution.
Biographical notes and random musings

Lydia Kinnicutt, Hezekiah Kinnicutt's widow's applied for pension (W26716) for his Revolutionary War service under the Act of 1836, and is on-line at HeritageQuest through NEHGS. The name is spelled Kinnicutt with two Ts, and was applied for from Bristol, RI..  Hezekiah Kinnicutt was a Private in the Rhode Island Militia. The pension was granted in Nov, 1836 and sent to an W. Alfred Bosworth of Warren, RI. When Lydia (v. Leydia) Kinnicutt applied for the pension benefit in 1836 she was aged 82, making her birth year c1754. She was married to Hezekiah on 23December1773, and her maiden name was Luther. She states that before the Revolution, Hezekiah resided in Barrington, RI and entered the Militia under Captain Viall Allen's Company, Lieutenant Daniel Kinnicutt, in November 1775, and was assigned to guard the shore of Barrington.through November 1779.  The troops were involved in the Battle of Bristol, RI in 1778. Hezekiah died in April 1828, afterwhich Lydia remained a widow and was considered infirm at the time of the pension application in 1836. Documentary evidence accompanying the pension application included a notation of the marriage performed by Charles Thompson, pastor, in 1773.  No mention is made of Hezekiah's participation in the Gaspee raid.

From A History of Barrington, Rhode Island by Thomas W. Bicknell, (Providence: Snow & Farnham, 1898), p317 a tavern in Barrington recorded a 1777 bill on account of Dr. Hezekiah Kinnicutt for rental of a sleigh to attend to the funeral of his nephew, the son of Shubael Kinnicutt. In this same reference (p343), we find an Alarm order from Warren, RI of June 1777 from Colonel Nathan Miller to Captain Samuel Bosworth to send a detachment of militia to guard Rumstick, and on which Hezekiah Kinnicutt was named as one of the detachment.  We also (p371) seem him on a 1775 roll call as a Private in Captain Thomas Allin's Company of Colonel Smith's Regiment, and note that one Daniel Kinnicutt was Ensign.  In a 1780 roll call (p374) of Captain Viall Allen's Company we see both Hezekiah and Edward Kinnicutt's names listed.This Hezekiah would be of the right age and location to be our guy. 

We also get a the vital records of adjoining Swansea, MA (Warren in 1743 was actually part of Bristol County, Massachusetts) Here we get an Hezekiah Kinnicut, son of John and Hannah Kinnicut,  born 24April1743  A RIRootsWeb thread tells of a land deed recorded for the Cole family in 1765 with John Kinnicut as Justice of the Peace, and which was witnessed by Hezekiah Kinnicut.  Hezekiah also shows up as able bodied in the 1777 Military Census of Barrington, RI, which adjoins his hometown of Warren.

We note from the RI Historical Cemeteries Database, that over 80% of people buried with this surname spelt it with two 'T"s, hence we'll regularize on that spelling of Kinnicutt.  Sadly, there is no Hezekial Kinnicutt listed, nor is there an Amos, Edward, or Joseph of either spelling with the correct dates.  Interestingly though, a ping on the NEHGS website does give us inscriptions from the Kickemuit Cemetery in Warren, RI, which contains many of the Kinnicut name, one of which one reads:

In memory of Polly Kinnicutt, Daughter of Hezekiah & Lydia Kinnicutt, she died August 12, 1813. In the 22nd Year of her Age.

Poor Polly would've been born c1791. 

The Hezekiah Kinnicutt family shows up in the 1800 Federal census from Bristol, RI with a total of 3 family members, which would account for Hezekiah, Lydia, and Polly.  Interestingly, their immediate neighbors were gaggles of Kinnicutts headed by Shubael, Thomas and Hannah; and of Luthers headed by James, Martin, Barnaba, Ebeneezer Jr., Jonathan, John, James, Frederick, Martin Sr., Frederick Jr., Lydia, Ebeneezer, Benjamin, and Jabez.

Hezekiah Kinnicut is not found in the LDS site. does give a Joseph Kinnicutt that married a Naomi Dexter born in 1736. From a search of our own siite, we find that an Amos, Joseph, and Edward Kinnicut were each listed as homeowners in the 1770 Providence Tax Assessment.  On the detail map we find a Mrs. Kinnicut living almost at the prestigious Town parade at the Great Bridge.  J. Kinnicut lived just to the west of the Bridge, on Weybosset Street, and just a little farther down this street was A. Kinnicutt. All of these people lived realatively close to the rebellious goings-on of June 9th, 1772.  Edward Kinnicutt was a prominent Providence merchant according to Edward Field, State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at the End of the Century:  A History.  Boston, Mason Publishing Co. 1902.

According to genealogist Jamie Adams (2008) Lydia Luther, wife of Hezekiah Kinnicutt, is a descendant of Samuel Luther.  Our sources spell the name as Kennicutt.  Lydia is certainly a distant cousin of Gaspee raider, Abner Luther. 
The Gaspee Days Committee proudly recognizes Hezekiah Kinnicutt as a Gaspee raider, and as a soldier in the American Revolution one of the select group of true American patriots.
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<>Originally Posted to Gaspee Virtual Archives 1/2006  Last Revised 06/2009     HezekiahKinnicut..html