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