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In this section of
Gaspee HistoryPage Up


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Go to
Gaspee Raiders
for biographical information on the Americans in the boats attacking the Royal Navy ship Gaspee.

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Books: American Colonial and Revolutionary War history or the people involved. We have suggestions for you.

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This is a history education and research web site of the
Joseph Bucklin Society.

References in brackets [  ] or in curly brackets {  } on any page in this website are to books, or other materials, listed in the Joseph Bucklin Society Gaspee Bibliography, or to materials held by the Joseph Bucklin Society.

 

 


 

The following is a partial list of persons
 who figured in the events of the Gaspee Attack
---  but who were not in the boats attacking the Gaspee.


We do not attempt to maintain a comprehensive discussion of the many persons involved in colonial or revolutionary activities before or after the Gaspee attack in Rhode Island in 1772.  This site focuses on the Gaspee raiders themselves and the events in the Gaspee attack. 

The purpose of this page is to provide links to discussions of persons involved and about which some information is helpful to a complete understanding of the events that formed the Gaspee attack and the events that came as a reaction to the attack, or give you basic information about who they were and basically how they were involved in the Gaspee attack.

Auchuty, Robert,  Jr.  Judge Auchuty was the Judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court for New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and a member of the Royal Commission of Inquiry investigating the Gaspee affair.

Portrait of John AdamsAdams, John

SAdamsbyCopleyAdams, Samuel  Samuel Adams was one of the main advocates of revolution. He was one of the earliest advocate of the Americans leaving the English kingdom, and has been one of the most famous, from 1770 to the present.

 

 

Allen, John. John Allen was an important Boston minister. Shortly after the Gaspee attack he delivered a sermon which because a clearly stated and popular version of the doctrine of American rights versus the English view of colonial rights. That sermon was titled "An Oration Upon the Beauty of Liberty, Or the Essential Rights of Americans."  This sermon was printed and widely distributed.  The sermon  protested England's reaction in the Gaspee case and argued that England and America were separate legal jurisdictions. This idea became revolutionary doctrine during the war after 1775. 

Stephen Hopkins, Trumbull painting.Hopkins, Stephen .Stephen Hopkins was a great grandson of Captain John Whipple, and hence Stephen was a relation of Gaspee Raider Abraham Whipple.

During King George's War, Stephen Hopkins and Gaspee Raider John Mawney were partners in the ship Reprisal, which was operated as a privateer.

Stephen Hopkins was a merchant involved with his brother Esek Hopkins in a mercantile and ship-building partnership. See Howard M Chapin, Rhode Island Privateers in King George's war : 1739-1748 (Providence, Rhode Island Historical Society, 1926), p.177. Esek Hopkins was a ship captain for John Brown, and was noted for being Brown's captain on Brown's first venture with a ship loaded with slaves from Africa.  

In 1765 Stephen Hopkins became a partner with John and Moses Brown in  the Hope Furnace, one of the most active foundries for anchors (before the Revolutionary War) and cannon (during the Revolutionary War. ) The Browns employed Stephen's oldest son Rufus Hopkins (1727-1813) in managing the Hope Furnace for almost 40 years.

Stephen Hopkins (17071785) was an American political leader from Rhode Island who signed the Declaration of Independence. He served as the Chief Justice and Governor of colonial Rhode Island and was a Delegate to both the Colonial Congress in Albany in 1754 and to the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776.

Stephen Hopkins was born on March 7, 1707 in Cranston, Rhode Island, the son of William and Ruth (Wilkinson) Hopkins. He was descended from the Thomas Hopkins that emigrated to Plymouth Plantation in 1635, and he was raised in his mother's Quaker religion

Our portrait of Septhen Hopkins is from a detail in the famous "Declaration of Independence" painted by John Trumbull (1819) to illustrate the signing of the Declaration. Because Hopkins was dead when Trumbull painted the scene. Since Hopkins had long-since died, Trumbull let it be known that he based his portrait of Hopkins on his nephew who was said to have looked just like Stephen Hopkins. However, recent scholarship suggests that the figure commonly identified as Hopkins is not a likeness of Rhode Island's representative Hopkin, but actually was based on the person of Pennsylvania's representative John Dickinson. Both Hopkins and Dickinson were Quakers who wore the Quakers' traditional broad brimmed hat.

Saville, Jesse. Jesse Saville  was the "Tidewaiter" or assistant to the Providence customs collector. Saville  was considered to be a spy and informer for the British.  In Providence, in 1769, he had been tarred, feathered, and beaten by a gang who were never identified. In 1776 he had moved to Gloucester, MA, where according to a lawsuit he brought in Essex (MA) County Court he again was set upon and beaten.  See Joseph E. Garland, Guns off Gloucester, (1976, Cricket Press).


Gov. Joseph WantonGovernor Wanton   He had the background to understand the feelings of the merchant sea captains of Rhode Island. 

You can understand his merchant background when you view the a picture which showed him twenty years before the events of 1772.  Painted by John Greenwood in the 1750's, the original of this painting is now in the St. Louis Art Museum.  Clip on the thumbnail below to enjoy the details of this tavern scene.  The artist included various notable Rhode Islanders, including (all seated at the table): Nicholas Cooke, Esek Hopkins, Stephen Hopkins, and Joseph Wanton (the one at the table who has gone to sleep from liquor, and is being doused with punch).

George III. George III, king of England during the American Revolution, was born in 1738 and died in 1820. George had high ideals for a king. He sught to rule without regard to party, to banish corruption from political practice, and to abandon the German Hanoverian cast of his predecessors to become a king with nothing but the interests of the kingdom as his object.  He was not, however, a good politician in an age when politics in Parliament drove the country's law and actions.

George III was not an autocratic monarch in the sense that his opponents cast him. However, because of his strong sense of duty toward the country, despite politically inept actions he was always a powerful force in politics. He was a strong supporter of the war against America, a war he viewed as essential to preserve England's empire. Indeed he viewed Parliament's concession of American independence in 1783 with such detestation that he considered abdicating his throne.

Likewise, illustrating his strong sense of duty toward the country,  although a Catholic, in 1801 he forced William Pitt to resign as prime minister rather than permit Catholic Emancipation, a measure that he interpreted as contrary to his coronation oath to uphold the Church of England.

Twentieth - century scholarship generally found George III to be a strong-minded but public-spirited monarch, of conservative views.  He used his office as King, in what was then developed into a constitutional monarchy, with a sense of public duty and private morality that proved popular in a society that was being being transformed by an evangelical revival and a popular view of the country as run by popular consent. The English public generally viewed him as the best of the Hanoverian rulers, a personal reputation that stood kept high the view of the kingship as good for England.