This "raiders" division of the Gaspee. Info website is devoted to information about the Raiders as individuals.

In this section of
Gaspee Raiders
Paul Allen
Ephraim Bowen
Aaron Briggs
Abial Brown
John Brown
Joseph Brown
Joseph Bucklin
Abel Easterbrooks
Nath. Easterbrooks
Capt. Samuel Dunn
Capt. Rufus Greene
Capt. Greenwood
Benjamin Hammond
Joseph Harris
Capt. John Hopkins
Justin Jacobs
Joseph Jencks
Hezekiah Kinnicut
John Kilton
Abner Luther
John Mawney
Simeon Olney
Ezra Ormsbee
Benjamin Page
Capt. S. Potter
Barzilla Richmond
Nath. Salisbury
Capt. Chris. Sheldon
Capt. Shepard
James Smith
Turpin Smith
Capt Swan
Robert Sutton
Capt. Jos.Tillinghast
Capt. Abr.Whipple
Qualification for List
Boat Captains
Raider Connections

Go to
Gaspee History
for history, overall facts, background, results, and analysis of the  1772 attack itself.


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.

Ephraim Bowen wrote the most comprehensive written eye-witness account, of the American participants, of the Gaspee Affair.  

His full statement and some notes on it are on a separate page at this site.  He himself was one of the Gaspee Raiders that attacked the English Navy ship Gaspee in 1772.

Summary: Gaspee raider, Ephraim Bowen, was born in 1753 in Providence, to a wealthy and well known family of Rhode Island. . He went onto become a Deputy Quartermaster General in the Revolutionary War. He built his fortune in trade and in the distillery business, and died a local hero at the age of 89 in 1841. He was that last living member of the crew that burnt the Gaspee in 1772, and wrote the most cited retelling of the events of that attack.

Now, let's look at some details of Bowen's life.  It really shows the interconnections that existed among the Gaspee Raiders, as well as the fact that the Gaspee raiders were men of some distinction and abilities.

Ephraim Bowen (1753 - 1841), the 19 year old Gaspee raider, was a son of well-known R. Ephraim Bowen (1716 - 1812)  a medical doctor in Providence, and Lydia Mawney.   In turn, Dr. R. Ephraim Bowen was the son of well known Dr. Thomas Bowen (1698 - 1744) of Rehoboth.   Dr. Thomas Bowen had another son,  William (b. 1747) , who also became a doctor in Rehoboth.

The Bowen family was founded by Richard Bowen, who came from Wales and by 1648 was married and lived in Rehoboth.  Both the Bowen family, and also the Bucklin family, lived continually in Rehoboth from its founding until after the Revolutionary Wary. Given the limited number of people in Rehoboth at the time, it is obvious that since 1648 the Bucklin family and the Bowen family had known each other.  Joseph Bucklin 4th's sister Mary had married a Bowen (Icabod Bowen, b. 1727).

Ephraim Bowen the Gaspee raider was a younger stepbrother of Jabez Bowen, a well known lawyer and later one of the Deputy Governors of Rhode Island.   Jabez Bowen (1739-1815), a lawyer in Providence, was deputy governor of Rhode Island from 1778 to 1786. Jabez, born 2 Jun 1739 in Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island had Ephraim Bowen Sr., as his father and  Mary Fenner as his mother.  Mary Fenner was the daughter of Thomas Fenner of Providence.

Lydia Mawney was the daughter of Colonel Peter Mawney and Mary Tillinghast. Gaspee Raider John Mawney, Jr., was the son of Lydia's brother John Mawney, Sr.. See http://www.gencircles.com/users/joanolsson/1/data/11678

Lydia's brother John Mawney married  Amey Gibbs in 1745  Amey was the daughter of Robert Gibbs and Amey Whipple, daughter of Colonel Joseph Whipple.

Ephraim made quite a bit of money during his lifetime.  At the start of the Revolutionary War General Greene appointed 23 year old Ephraim Bowen to be the army's  deputy quartermaster general for Rhode Island.  Why did Greene appoint this 23 year old person, instead of one of the established merchants?  We can only speculate, although one can guess that Greene knew that Bowen had intelligence and would be absolutely loyal to the Revolutionary War cause.

As quartermaster general for Rhode Island, Bowen maintained an office at Providence and from there employed a rather substantial organization, including assistant deputy quartermasters general at six other towns in the state, plus an assistant deputy wagon master general.  Bowen also was the person who controlled the employment of the force of persons for these assistant deputies to supervise: all the wagon masters, storekeepers, blacksmiths, tailors, and other artificers, plus office clerks.

The Army Deputy General Quartermasters, such as Bowen, were paid a 2 percent commission on purchases they made for the supplies for the army.  Bowen made his purchases within his state of Rhode Island, and built valuable merchant contacts.  After the war he continued in various mercantile enterprises, including profitable distillery businesses.

After the Revolutionary War, Ephraim and his brother Dr. William Bowen also financed their brother Benjamin's  move to "Bowen's Settlement" (later renamed Newport) in central New York state. The reason for Benjamin Bowen's move to New York was to establish a saw mill, a grist mill, a distillery, and the Newport Cotton Manufacturing Co. along the banks of the West Canada Creek using a dam and diversion canal.  Benjamin's sumptuous home, named "What Cheer Hall" is a National Historic Registry building and operates  as a bed and breakfast at  7482 Main Street, Newport, New York 13416 . 

Data on Dr. Ephraim Bowen, and his children, 
including Ephraim Bowen, Jr., the Gaspee Raider.

Dr. Ephraim1 Bowen, was born 03 Oct 1716 in Rehoboth, Bristol, MA1, and died 21 Oct 1812 in Providence, RI2,3. He married (1) Mary Fenner 09 Feb 1736/374. She was born Abt. 1720, and died 16 Aug 1744. He married (2) Lydia Mawney 10 Jun 17464.  He is buried at Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI Burial of Mary Fenner:  Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI5.  Burial of Lydia Mawney: Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI5

Dr. Ephraim Bowen came to Providence, from Rehoboth, in 1739.  He lived at what is now the intersection of College and Water (then Main Street).  As opportunity offered, he extended his lot east up the Hill to what is now Benefit Street.  There was an agreement between Bowen and John Jencks, who adjoined on the north, so that one would not push further west than the other. 

Children of Ephraim Bowen and Mary Fenner are:

i. JABEZ2 Bowen, b. 13 Jun 17396; d. 08 May 1815, Providence, RI7; m. SARAH BROWN; b. 24 Sep 17427; d. 21 Oct 1812.

Appointed: Chief Justice, Sup. Ct. of RI

Burial: Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI7,8

Occupation: Lawyer

ii. OLIVER Bowen Bowen, b. 17 Nov 17429.

iii. MARY Bowen, b. Jul 17449; d. 23 Aug 1744. Burial: Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI10

Children of Ephraim Bowen and Lydia Mawney are:

iv. WILLIAM2 Bowen, b. 08 Mar 1746/4711.

v. MARY Bowen, b. 20 Oct 1748.

vi. SARAH Bowen, b. 26 Jul 1750.

vii. LYDIA Bowen, b. 03 Jan 1752.

viii. Col. Ephraim Bowen, b. 29 Aug 1753, Providence, RI11; d. 02 Sep 184112; m. (1) Sally Angell; b. 30 Oct 1757; d. 15 May 1788; m. (2) Sarah Whipple; b. Abt. 1773; d. 27 Sep 184413.

Notes for COL. Ephraim Bowen's involvement with Rehoboth.

Ephraim's ancestry traces back to Richard Bowen born 1580, Ilston, Glamorganshire, Wales, married (1) bfr 1622, in Kettle Hill, Glamorganshire, Wales, Ann Bourne, born 1586, Swansea, Glamorganshire, Wales, Homemaker, died 1644, Rehoboth, Bristol, MA, married (2) NOV 1648, in Rehoboth, Bristol, MA, Elizabeth REY, born ca 1590, died 1675, Rehoboth, Bristol, MA. Richard died Rehoboth, Bristol, MA, Buried: 04 FEB 1674, Rehoboth, Bristol, MA, See http://www.ormsby.org/genie/Miscellaneous/Bowen.html. Thus it appears that Ehpraim Bowen and his companion Joseph Bucklin both had family with roots in Rehoboth from the 1640's.

Since the Bowens came from Swansea in Wales, it is logical to conclude that the Welch Bowens and perhaps others were responsible for the name of the early town of Swansea, near Rehoboth.

More About Col. Ephraim Bowen:

Burial: St. John's Cemetery, Benefit Street, Providence, RI13

Gaspee: 1772, Member of the raiding crew

Military service: Abt. 1776, Deputy General Quartermaster, US Army14.

Ephraim drew a pension for military service during the Revolutionary War. 19.

Record: Wealthy landowner Pawtuxet, Rhode Island15

Residence: 1799, Warwick, RI16

More About Sally Angell: Burial: St. John's Cemetery, Benefit Street, Providence, RI17

More About Sarah Whipple: Burial: St. John's Cemetery, Benefit Street, Providence, RI17

ix. BENJAMIN Bowen, b. 17 Oct 1755; d. Unknown. Residence: 1812, Newport, NY18

x. PARDON Bowen, b. 16 Mar 1757.

xi. NANCY JUNE Bowen, b. 09 Jun 1762.

xii. BENJAMIN Bowen, b. 09 Nov 1762.

xiii. BETSEY Bowen, b. 04 May 1765.

xiv. FRANCES Bowen, b. 29 May 1768.


1. Internet web pages, "Electronic," http://www.ormsby.org/genie/Miscellaneous/Bowen.html.

2. Whipple Web Site, (http://genweb.whipple.org/d0033, visited 24 mar 2001), "Electronic," genweb.shipple.org/d0039/i55998.html, visited 9 Jan 2003.

3. Internet web pages, "Electronic," http://www.ormsby.org/genie/Miscellaneous/Bowen.html, gives date as the 26 of October 1812.

4. Internet web pages, "Electronic," http://www.ormsby.org/genie/Miscellaneous/Bowen.html.

5. Rhode Island Cemetery Transcript Project, "Electronic."

6. Internet web pages, "Electronic," http://www.ormsby.org/genie/Miscellaneous/Bowen.html.

7. Whipple Web Site, (http://genweb.whipple.org/d0033, visited 24 mar 2001), "Electronic," genweb.shipple.org/d0039/i55998.html, visited 9 Jan 2003.

8. Abby Isabel Brown Bulkey, Chad Browne Memorial, Consisting of Genealogical Memoirs of a Portion of the Descendants of Chad and Elizabeth Browne, (Brooklyn, NY, 1888), p. 41, buried "In the West ground from which his remains were afterwards removed to Swan Point Cemetery:.

9. Internet web pages, "Electronic," http://www.ormsby.org/genie/Miscellaneous/Bowen.html.

10. Rhode Island Cemetery Transcript Project, "Electronic."

11. Internet web pages, "Electronic," http://www.ormsby.org/genie/Miscellaneous/Bowen.html.

12. Internet web pages, "Electronic," http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/md/statewide/vitals/Notices2.txt, Bowen, Col. Ephraim Date: 09-02-1841 - Nat'l Intelligencer - Obit Notice Bowen, Col. Ephraim, a soldier of the Revolution, and last surviving son of the late Dr. Ephraim Bowen, who had 14 children, died in Providence, R. I., Sept. 2, 1841, in the 89th year of his age. He leaves a wife. They had 9 children, all of which are dead. (Sept. 7, 1841). [Abstracts of Marriages and Deaths from National Intelligencer, 1841, Page 1283].

13. Rhode Island Cemetery Transcript Project, "Electronic."

14. Internet web pages, "Electronic," http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/RevWar/risch/chpt-2.htm and 4. htm, General Greene appointed "Ephraim Bowen, deputy quartermaster general for Rhode Island, was a member of a prominent mercantile family of that state. He maintained his office at Providence and employed assistant deputy quartermasters general at six other towns in the state, together with a deputy wagonmaster general, wagonmasters, storekeepers, artificers, and clerks." The Deputy General Quartermasters were paid a 2 percent commission on purchases. Bowen made his purchases within his state of Rhode Island.

15. Internet web pages, "Electronic," www.gaspee.org/Slocum.html, Interesting personality sketch of Ephraim Bowen, by one who know him.

16. John Concannon, Gaspee Virtual Archives, (www.gaspee.org), "Electronic," visited 20 Jan 2002, Bowen Mansion is at 130 Fair Street, Warwick, RI. Bowen's still house still (2003) exists at 37 North Fair Street in Warwick, RI.

17. Rhode Island Cemetery Transcript Project, "Electronic."

18. Internet web pages, "Electronic," http://www.innsite.com/inns/A000732.html, viewed 20 Jan 2003, Benjamin Bowen ...came from Rhode Island with the financial backing of his brothers, Dr. William Bowen and Ephraim Bowen Esq. to establish a saw mill, a grist mill, a distillery, and the Newport Cotton Manufacturing Co. along the banks of the West Canada Creek using a dam and diversion canal.

19. U.S. Census, 1840 Census of Pensioners, by Judicial District.