Rhode Island Illustrated Event Covers
Gaspee Day - Celebrated on 2nd Saturday of June
Cover produced by Providence Post Office
Canceled on June 9, 1973 - 201st Anniversary

The Gaspee Days Celebration is held annually in the city of Warwick, Rhode Island to celebrate the June 9, 1772 burning of the British revenue schooner HMS Gaspee by the colonists of Rhode Island.

HMS Gaspee under the command of Lieutenant Dudingston was sent to Narragansett Bay in 1772 to enforce the Stamp Act and prevent smuggling. Dudingston angered the locals with his oppressive policies; harassing Rhode Island vessels, impressing seamen and requiring that all ships lower their flags when passing the Gaspee.

On June 9, 1772 the Gaspee gave chase to the sloop Hanna commanded by Captain Benjamin Lindsay. The Hanna deliberately led the Gaspee over a sandbar near Namquid Point, which her shallow draft enabled her to pass over safely. The Gaspee; heavier and with a deeper draft became stranded on the bar.

Captain Lindsay informed John Brown of the Gaspee's stranding and a meeting was held at Sabin's Tavern in Providence, RI to formulate a plan of action. That night under cover of darkness, a band of Rhode Islanders under the command of Abraham Whipple rowed out to the Gaspee and took over the ship. The vessel was set on fire and burned to the waterline. During the course of this action Dudingston was wounded by Joseph Bucklin and the Gaspee's crew was captured and taken to Pawtuxet.

The First Gaspee Days Celebration was held in 1972.

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