Wanton's Reward Offer
poster broadside issued by Gov. Wanton for those
for the burning of the Gaspee. The four
known copies are
at the RI State Archives (right,
and easy to read), the RI Historical Society, the
Public Library, and at left, a
previously unknown copy was sold by Swann Galleries at
auction for $27,600
unnamed bidder on October 21, 2004..
Click images to enlarge.
The reward offer was also published in both
Mercury and the Providence Gazette
for several editions beginning Saturday,
June 13, 1772.
By the HONOURABLE JOSEPH WANTON, ESQUIRE, Governor,
Captain-General, and Commander in Chief, of and over the English
Colony of Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations, in New England,
WHEREAS on Tuesday, the Ninth Instant, in the Night, a Number of People unknown; boarded His Majesty's armed Schooner the Gaspee, as she lay aground on a Point of Land called Namquit, a little to the Southward of Pawtuxet, in the Colony aforesaid; who dangerously wounded Lieutenant William Dudingston, the Commander, and by Force took him, with all his Peoples, put them into Boats, and landed them near Pawtuxet; and afterwards set fire to the said Schooner, whereby she was entirely destroyed:
I HAVE therefore thought fit,
with the Advice of such of His
Majesty's Council as could he reasonably convened, to
strictly charging and commanding all His Majesty's
Officers within the
said Colony, both Civil and Military, to exert
themselves, with the
Vigilance, to discover and apprehend the Persons guilty
atrocious Crime, that they may be brought to condign
Punishment. And I
do hereby offer a Reward of ONE HUNDRED POUNDS Sterling,
Money of Great
Britain, to any Person or Persons who shall discover the
the said Villains, to be paid of them.
AND the several Sheriffs in the said Colony are hereby required forthwith to cause this Proclamation to be posted up in the most public Places in each of the Towns in their respective Counties.
GIVEN under my Hand and Seal at Arms, at Newport, this Twelfth Day of June, in the Twelfth Year of the Reign of His Most Sacred Majesty GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of God King of Great-Britain, & Anne Domini 1772.
J. WANTON,By his Honour's Command,
HENRY WARD, Sec'ry
SAVE THE KING