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

In this section of
Gaspee Raiders
Up
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
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Go to
Gaspee History
for history, overall facts, background, results, and analysis of the  1772 attack itself.

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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.

Joseph Brown

The evidence for Joseph Brown being in the attacking party with his brother John Brown comes mostly from the statement of Aaron Briggs, supplemented by the statement of Sam Ramsdale. Both of their statements included not only  Joseph Brown as involved. Both of their statements have the look of truth because they include the names of others that we do know from other sources were in the raiding party. 

Briggs gave a list of five men that he saw physically present during the destruction of his Majesty's schooner Gaspee, to wit:

John Brown and Joseph Brown, principal men of the town of Providence; Simeon Potter of Bristol; Doctor Weeks, of Warwick; Richmond, of Providence. [Staples, p. 31]

Generally, the items recited by Aaron Briggs gives credence to his report.  He reported things that only someone present would have known. Yet we know he was trying desperately to please his English captors, and may have inaccurate in some particulars in his haste to tell "all" he knew.  For example, he described the person taking care of the wounds of Lt. Dudingston as being a tall thin doctor called Weeks.  There was a Doctor Weeks in Providence but no one has suggested that he was in the raiding party . We know that the tall thin doctor who took care of Lt. Dudingston  was Dr. Mawney.  We know from the accounts of the persons in the cabin where the wounds of Lt. Dudingston were cared for that Briggs was not there in the cabin.  We know that in boat that left the Gaspee carrying Lt. Dudingston, were also Briggs and Mawney in that same boat.  Aaron may have known, from what Briggs saw or heard in the boat taking Dudingston ashore,  that the tall thin man was a doctor;  and the name Briggs supplied the English for that person may simply have been the name of a person Briggs had thought was the only doctor in Providence. 

Briggs may have added Joseph Brown to the list of raiders he "saw" in a like manner, that is, he merely assumed from something observed that night that one of the persons was someone whose name Aaron had heard of before.

On the other hand, Briggs was not the only person naming both John and Joseph Brown.  Saul Ramsdale. an English sympathizer, claimed to have heard the preparations for the Gaspee attack. He told what he heard to his friend William Thayer, a Providence shoemaker recently moved from Mendon, Massachusetts. (Because of the concerted efforts of the Rhode Island patriots,  neither Ramsdale or Thayer was able to testify before the Royal Commission.)  Ramsdale  identified the "heads of the gang" as "John and Joseph Brown, and someone named Potter."  We know that John Brown was in the raiding party.  We know that Simeon Potter was in the raiding party, and must have know about it many hours before the attack force left the docks at Providence. (Simeon Potter captained a longboat rowing up to the attack that night all the way from Bristol, and had to have started from Bristol to the rendezvous before the Providence boats left Providence.) So we know that Ramsdale's identification was accurate in two of his three identifications of who he heard talking, and it is probable therefore that the third person he identified was also active in the preparations for the attack.

Joseph Brown was the most active politically, of the four Brown brothers.  He served in the legislature and was active in its politics.

Hon. Joseph Brown: b. 3Dec1733; d. 3Dec1785; m. 30Sept1759 Elizabeth (Power) Brown.

The Hon. Joseph Brown was buried in the Old North Burial Ground in Providence as were many other Gaspee raiders.