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Gaspee History Page Up


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


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.


An English Navy Frigate

This picture is of a typical frigate of the English Navy at the time of the American Revolution.  A frigate was an English war vessel of the 18th century. The frigate was light and swift, compared to ships of the line.  In an English fleet it was used primarily for reconnoitering and to relieve warships in distress.  However,  it was a substantial war-vessel, next in size and equipment to ships of the line. At the time of the Gaspee incident, the English Admiral in charge of the American coastline had only a frigate as his largest ship. However, that was soon remedied after the Gaspee affair and at the time of the American Revolution, the English had the largest single fleet they had ever assembled off the American coast.

The American Constitution was a frigate.  It can be seen as a floating exhibit at the Charleston MA Navy Yard and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Built: 1797, in Boston, it has a  length: 204, beam: 43.5, and draft: 22.6,

Generally, a frigate is described as a 3-masted vessel, with square sails on all masts, and carrying guns on at least one covered gun deck.   

Frigates were bigger ships than the type of ship known as a brigantine.   A brigantine, usually built as a merchant ship, was faster than a frigate.