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We do not know much about the life of  Joseph Bucklin 5th.

Joseph Bucklin 5th was born 2 Mar 1954, the son of Joseph Bucklin the 4th.   (Joseph Bucklin 4th was a wealthy ship captain and merchant in Providence. A considerable amount of information is available regarding Joseph 4th.)

Joseph 4th and Joseph 5th, in 1772, lived in Providence, Rhode Island, on the south shore of the Great Salt Cove, only three  buildings west of the Great Bridge over the Providence River.  

Joseph 5th was physically described 1772 by the Midshipman of the Gaspee, as follows:

 "appeared to be about eighteen years of age, very much marked with the small pox, light brown hair tied behind, about five feet, five or six inches high".  

(Small pox was not unusual for the time.  Although inoculation was know of, it was not used in Rhode Island, and a particularly wide spread epidemic of small pox occurred in Rhode Island in 1760, coinciding with the return of a number of soldiers from duty in the French and Indian War.)

Joseph's place in Revolutionary War history is assured because of his shot in the attack of the Gaspee in 1772.

" * * * Joseph Bucklin, who was standing on the main thwart by my right side, said to me, 'Ephe, reach me your gun and I can kill that fellow.'

I reached it to him accordingly, when, during Capt. Whipple’s replying, Bucklin fired and Dudingston fell, and Bucklin exclaimed, 'I have killed the rascal.'. * * * "

After Dudingston fell back on the deck of the Gaspee, thinking himself mortally wounded, Dudingston surrendered the ship to the attacking Rhode Island men.  It is this shot which Rhode Island celebrates each year, in their Gaspee Days Celebration,  as the "First Shot of the Revolutionary War" 

The Rhode Island Assembly records of 1777 show that they paid more than 40 pounds for Joseph to make a trip to Baltimore.  The amount is substantial, and unusual.  Payments to others for going to other colonies on business of Rhode Island were usually less than 10 pounds, and the Assembly's records of the payment states on what business they were engaged for the colony of Rhode Island.  The amount paid to Joseph is recorded simply as:

"Joseph Bucklin, Jr., for his time and expenses in going to, and returning from Baltimore...............40 19 10"

To put the amount of 40 pounds into perspective: the English Navy only paid about 450 pounds for the Gaspee ship, and a schoolteacher in 1777 was paid about 30 pounds a year.  Clearly, the 40 pounds paid Joseph was more than enough for four or five trips to Baltimore, all expenses paid.  The implication from the amount and the lack of official record for which the payment was made suggests several lines of speculation, for example, that Joseph was carrying money to pay someone in Baltimore whose identity had to be shielded, or that Joseph was being paid for "getting out of town" and staying outside Providence for a substantial period of time.  [The British captured Newport in December 1776, and it was commonly thought by those in Rhode Island that the that the English might attempt to enlarge their sphere of occupation in the direction of either West to Providence or north to Boston. It was during this period of time that Joseph was sent south to Baltimore.] At any rate it appears the payment was for something that the Assembly did not want recorded for fear the English would find out what the payment was for.

Joseph 5th died, lost at sea, in 1781. His death is documented in the handwritten record in the family bible of Joseph Bucklin 4th. [Original page is preserved in Manuscript room of the Rhode Island Historical Society.] See also the contemporary newspaper clipping in the "Bucklin" file folders of the Elizabeth Johnson Research Library in Pawtucket, RI.  See also, Edwin Peck, "Descent of the Buckland" Private presentation to Harris Howard Bucklin of Providence, Jun 1943, 35, "Joseph b-Mar 2 1754-Lost at Sea 1781, age 27 Prob - Gaspee Joseph "Apr [sic] 10 1772".  Joseph 5th is not named in his father's will, which was dated 1789, confirming Joseph 5th died before his father.

Read why Joseph Bucklin 5th was probably the Bucklin that fired the important shot in the capture of the Gaspee (and not Joseph Bucklin 4th).

Read the description by Dr. Mawney of the assistance of Joseph Bucklin 5th in medical aid to prevent Dudingston from dying.