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In this section of
Gaspee HistoryPage Up
Legal Events
Royal Commission
Navy Court-Martial
Proclamation-1772


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

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Books: American Colonial and Revolutionary War history or the people involved. We have suggestions for you.

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Copyrighted.    2005  to 02/17/2011 Leonard H. Bucklin.   -----  The content of this site may not be reproduced except for brief excerpts for reviews or scholarly references..   
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Copyright Notices, Privacy Policy, and Warnings & Disclaimers.

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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.

After the Gaspee attack, the English sought the attackers, to punish them. After the attack and burning of the Gaspee, a proclamation was issued seeking information about the identity of the raiders. A royal commission was formed by the English to investigate, with orders to have the attackers taken to England for trial and punishment.   For the colonists, the matter of elimination of trial by a jury of persons in the county or vicarage of the accused took prime importance. Because the acts of the attackers had already been proclaimed by the English Attorney General and Solicitor General as treason, there was no doubt that conviction by a jury in England would lead to a sentence of death.  The Americans maintained a successful silence on the identity of the attackers or the planners of the event. The royal commission took several months to pursue its investigation, only issuing its final report to the crown in June of 1773, stating that the commission was unable to identify any of the attackers.

By 1773, the probability of recourse to battles to defend Rhode Island from English occupation was foreseen. Many expected English troops to be landing in Rhode Island to take the colony by force.   This lead to some preparations as, for example, in May, 1773, when provision was made for repairing "all the platforms for the guns at Fort George agreeably to the directions of John Jepson and Captain Ezek Hopkins"; and six new gun carriages were ordered for the cannon that belonged to the colony sloop.

See the links on the left side of this page for some interesting documents of primary interest regarding the price on the head of Joseph Bucklin (although they did not know who he was).  The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who had committed the treasonable act of deliberately shooting an English navy officer in command of His Majesty's Ship was a substantial reward. .

Use the links below to go to major areas of this site.

Summary of Attack ] Law as Weapon ] Theory of Attack ] Forensic History ] Attack Force ] Persons Involved ] Witnesses Said ] [ Post Gaspee Events ] JBS Library ]