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.

Capt. John Hopkins
Captain John Hopkins was in charge of a boat of Rhode Island men that that assaulted the crew of the English Navy ship Gaspee in 1772.

John Burroughs Hopkins was a ship captain.  John Brown placed him in charge of one of the longboats in the attack on the Gaspee

Bowen in his narrative says:

     "...when orders were given to cross the street to Fenner's wharf and embark; which soon took place, and a sea captain acted as steersman of each boat, of whom I recollect Capt. Abraham Whipple, Capt. John B. Hopkins, (with whom I embarked,) and Capt. Benjamin Dunn. A line from right to left was soon formed, with Capt. Whipple on the right and Capt. Hopkins on the right of the left wing....The party thus proceeded till within about sixty yards of the Gaspee...."

Captain John B. Hopkins was in command of the longboat from which Joseph Bucklin fired the shot that wounded the English ship's captain, and thus caused the surrender of the Gaspee.

Captain John B. Hopkins, was a son of Esek Hopkins, and a nephew of Stephen Hopkins, the then Chief Justice of Rhode Island.  The middle initial of Capt Hopkins was used during his lifetime --- to distinguish himself from both his uncle named John Hopkins and also a cousin named John Hopkins, both of whom were substantial members within a prominent Rhode Island family.

John Burroughs Hopkins, b. 14 Aug 1742 in Newport, Newport County, RI;  d. 4 Mar 1796;  m. Sarah Harris, b. 7 Dec 1742; d.  8 Dec 1824)

 In December 1775 The United States Congress Marine Committee appointed the following officers, with the approval of Congress:

  • Commander-in-Chief: Esek Hopkins
  • Captains: Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicholas Biddle, John B. Hopkins
  • First Lieutenants: John Paul Jones, Rhodes Arnold, Eli Stansbury, Hoysted Hacker, Jonathan Pitcher
  • Second Lieutenants: Benjamin Seabury, Joseph Olney, Elisha Warner, Thomas Weaver, James McDougall
  • Third Lieutenants: John Fanning, Ezekiel Burroughs, Daniel Vaughan.

[Congress and the Continental Navy, 1775-1783: Chronology and Documents at: http://www.history.navy.mil/wars/revwar/chron.htm 22]  From that point on,  Captain Hopkins served with distinction during the Revolutionary War. In his obituary, the Providence Gazette, March 12, 1796, called him an "eminent nautical commander". 

Captain John B. Hopkins was first buried at the Admiral Esek Hopkins Burial Ground , Providence, which was later removed to the Providence North Burial Ground

Because Bowen was in Hopkins' boat, and Joseph Bucklin 5th was in the boat with Bowen, we conclude that Bucklin was in the boat commanded by Hopkins.  So Bucklin was in the boat commanded by the nephew of the Chief Justice of Rhode Island.

It is interesting to note that both Esek Hopkins and Joseph Bucklin 4th previously had been ship captains of the same ship - the brigantine Providence. See History of Brigantine Providence.  Both these ship captains had sons in the Gaspee raiders.  This, of course, leads to the interesting speculation that Joseph Bucklin 4th could have been one of the longboat captains whose names are unknown to history at this point.

The following Hopkins family connections among Gaspee participants are significant.  Certainly the connections would help seal the agreement to keep the names of the participants secret from the English.

Stephen Hopkins:

  •     had a close political relationship with the Browns
  •     had various business dealings with the Browns.
  •     was a copartner with the Brown brother in various businesses operated by them, as well as their being a copartner in Hopkins operated merchant shipping adventures
  •     had a son Rufus who was managing a business owned by the Hopkins and Brown families
  •     had a brother whose son was Stephen B. Hopkins, commander of the longboat from which Joseph Bucklin fired the shot that hit the Gaspee English Navy officer.
  •     had a brother Esek who may also have been in the Gaspee raiding party
  •     had a brother, whose daughter was married to Abraham Whipple, another of the longboat captains in the Gaspee affair.

Esek Hopkins:

  •     was a ship captain for the Browns.
  •     was a ship captain at one time for the Browns when they owned the brigantine Providence, a ship which was purchased and captained later by Joseph Bucklin 4th.  
  •     Esek and Joseph Bucklin 4th both had sons in the Gaspee raiding party.

John Hopkins' niece Sarah was the wife of Abraham Whipple, another ship captain in charge of one of the longboats in the attack.