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Gaspee HistoryPage Up
Bucklin at Gaspee
Bowen Info
Mawney Info
Brown Brothers
Rehoboth Connection
Raider Relationships


Go to
Gaspee Raiders
for biographical information on the Americans in the boats attacking the Royal Navy ship Gaspee.


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.




List of the Gaspee raiders's name is available.  List of Americans in
Gaspee Attack Force.

New Research: Names and Facts!

We are constantly researching to add additional names and biographical facts about Gaspee Raiders.

In the ten longboats of Rhode Island men that attacked the English navy ship Gaspee, there probably were more than 110 men.  Before our research started most historians stated there were only eight longboats and had found the names of only about ten of the raiders (the listed names varied).  The research in the last few years by the  Gaspee Scholars, including Leonard Bucklin of the Joseph Bucklin Society and John Concannon of The Gaspee Virtual Archives has identified two other longboats and more of the Rhode Island men who were in the attacking party.  Our list now has the names of over 30 probable participants in the Gaspee raiding party  --- three times as many names as previous historical accounts listed. 

Our list of the Gaspee Raiders, with links to take you to biographies.

Here is a half-dozen sampling of the persons on our list of raiders.

  1. Ephraim Bowen.  He was later referred to as Col. Bowen. He used his merchant abilities to gain military appointment to supply the troops of the army.  His written account is the principle account from which most historians work in describing the Gaspee attack.)
  2. Aaron Briggs.  This slave confessed to the British the names of some of the Gaspee raiders. He probably was impressed into the attack as he said, but his claims were skillfully denied by the Rhode Islanders, for their own self protection.
  3. John Brown, the most wealthy man in Providence, and the leader in planning the attack.. 
  4. Joseph Bucklin the 5th, the 19 year old son of Joseph Bucklin the 4th  a well known Providence merchant.  (Joseph 5th was the man who shot the English captain.)  
  5. Rufus Greene, Jr.  The seizure of a ship and rum of the powerful merchant firm of the Greene brothers may have been the circumstance leading to a Rhode Island warrant of arrest and an attempted legal arrest of the Gaspee's captain and attachment of the Gaspee. See why we think it was Rufus, of all the possible Greenes, who was on the assaulting group..
  6. Abraham Whipple. Whipple, a sea captain who as a privateer for Joseph Brown had captured dozens of ships, was the chief captain of the longboats, to  execute the attack planned by John Brown. Whipple went on to become one of the best sea captains of the navy of the new united states in the Revolutionary War.  (See his extensive biography materials also at The Commodore's Page.)
Joseph Bucklin, a Gaspee Raider, is the person for whom the Joseph Bucklin Society is named.  Bucklin fired the shot that struck and wounded the English captain, and changed the character of the raid to treason and armed revolt from English law.  His was the real first shot of the American Revolution.

Our list is larger than the usual list of raiders that was published by  historians before our research became available. There are at least three reasons for our longer list.  

  • The Joseph Bucklin Society has the advantage of long-term, constant, research, analysis, and education concerning the Gaspee events.  Because a division of the  Joseph Bucklin Society is devoted to .researching the Gaspee events, we have had the advantage of long time research, continuing more than a few years.  Because we are publicly available, though the internet, persons have contacted us from time to time with important new information to add to the research project.
  • There have been twin drivers of research: the Gaspee Virtual Archives and the Joseph Bucklin Society. The two greatest collections of publicly and freely available information about the Gaspee Affair are:

          (A) Gaspee.Info (this site) provided by the Joseph Bucklin Society, and
          (B) the Gaspee Virtual Archives, provided by www.Gaspee.org.

    A significant amount of our Joseph Bucklin Society (Gaspee.Info) research started with items gathered by John Concannon, the tireless Rhode Island researcher and intelligent webmaster at the Gaspee Virtual Archives. We and future historians owe him much.
  • We have made the decision to list all reasonably likely Gaspee Raiders. We have chosen to list all those who have been identified by any researcher, author, or historian, amateur or not,  as long as the claim is plausible.  When reasonable persons could differ, we have not let our own judgment eliminate some from the list. Each of the following persons on our list have been identified by at least one researcher.  We have doubts regarding some of them. but list them because reasonable persons might have a different view of our doubts. We have decided that by listing all who at least one person reasonably has identified as a  probable raider, with valid facts and acceptable logic, we assist other in their future research.

Additional notes regarding the list of participants.

We have biographical information on most of the participants named in our list of those in the raiding party.. In addition we have information on other persons who were involved in one way or another, on the American or English side, in the events before the attack or in the aftermath. Information about persons other than the raiders is found at our page "Cast of Characters", That page has the information about some other persons, both in Rhode Island and elsewhere,  who did not actually participate in the raid but are noteworthy in telling the full Gaspee story and how it relates to the American Revolution.

John Howland  was a 12 year old boy during the Gaspee Affair.  After the end of the Revolutionary War he  claimed to have been there at the wharf when the boats put off from Providence for the attack in June 1772.  Long after the Revolutionary War ended, Howland stated the names of some individuals in the raid.  Because he grew up among the persons he named, and because Howland was in 1839 the first director of the RI Historical Society, we take his undocumented list seriously.

There are other persons we still are investigating for possible inclusion in the list of persons who physically attacked the English ship.  For example, various other people have been mentioned by persons who were not in a time or place to have had first hand knowledge of who was in the raiding party.  As another example of continuing investigation,  any of the Providence merchants who signed the complaint against Dudingston, claiming Dudingston was acting without authority, is a likely candidate.  However, just about any merchant, large or small, as well as any master of a boat, might have been eager.  In addition to John Brown, the persons signing the complaint against Dudingston were:

Three lawyers were accused of being participants in the affair, but they successfully denied arrest by each furnishing alibis for the others.  They may well have been involved either as raiders in the boats or as participating in legal planning -- before the attack -- for the justification of the attack.  They were: 

  • Brown. George Brown
  • Cole. John Cole
  • Hitchcock.  Hitchcock.

List of probable raiders in the attacking boats

Persons not in the boats but involved in the events before or after the attack

Key words for indexing this article: Colonial History, Rhode Island, Gaspee, attack, hostilities, start war, American Revolution, names, biography.

Abstract of this article: Joseph Bucklin Society research has identified about one-third of the about 100 persons who attacked the Gaspee.