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This "raiders" division of the Gaspee. Info website is devoted to information about the Raiders as individuals.

In this section of
Gaspee Raiders
Up
Paul Allen
Ephraim Bowen
Aaron Briggs
Abial Brown
John Brown
Joseph Brown
Joseph Bucklin
Abel Easterbrooks
Nath. Easterbrooks
Capt. Samuel Dunn
Capt. Rufus Greene
Capt. Greenwood
Benjamin Hammond
Joseph Harris
Capt. John Hopkins
Justin Jacobs
Joseph Jencks
Hezekiah Kinnicut
John Kilton
Abner Luther
John Mawney
Simeon Olney
Ezra Ormsbee
Benjamin Page
Capt. S. Potter
Barzilla Richmond
Nath. Salisbury
Capt. Chris. Sheldon
Capt. Shepard
James Smith
Turpin Smith
Capt Swan
Robert Sutton
Capt. Jos.Tillinghast
Capt. Abr.Whipple
Qualification for List
Boat Captains
Raider Connections
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Go to
Gaspee History
for history, overall facts, background, results, and analysis of the  1772 attack itself.

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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.

Abial Brown

It is logical to identify Abial Brown, (aka Abiel) born 24 Apr 1755, as a Gaspee raider. The probability is based on the limited historical fact that obituaries of his 19th and 20th century descendents consistently reference a family tradition, going back to the 18th century persons who peronally would have known Gaspee raiders, that their Brown ancestor had been one of those involved in the raid on the Gaspee.  For example:

Providence Journal, August 30, 1926 ---  ELIZABETH BROWN IS BURIED TO-DAY FROM OLD HOME --- Granddaughter of Pioneer, Whipple Brown, One of Burners of Gaspee, Dead at Age of 90.--Had Letters from Many Presidents.  Funeral services for Elizabeth W. Brown, granddaughter  of  Whipple Brown of Gaspee-burning fame, were held this afternoon from her home, 17 Planet Street. Miss Brown, who would have been 90 on Sept. 24, was the daughter of William Whipple Brown. Her grandfather, listed in the first Providence city directory issued in 1824 as a mariner, was one of the "conspirators" who burned the schooner....Three granddaughters of the Revolutionary character have occupied the old homestead their lives long, until death has one by one removed them. Maria Brown is the only one left of the three.

This reporter for this newspaper obituary for Abial's great-granddaughter reports the family tradition of the family ancestor being one of the persons who burned the Gaspee and attributes the Gaspee event to this 90 year old lady's "grandfather", Whipple Brown.  Whipple Brown was born in 1791, too late to have been involved in the Gaspee burning.  Yet is unlikely for a prominent ladies of society (as the Abial Brown descendents were, to have made up a false story about their grandfather.  So it is most likely that the newspaper reporter received inaccurate information from some surviving friend who told the reporter Elizabeth Brown telling told stories of her "grandfather" [instead of her "great-grandfather"].

Whipple Brown's father Abial was, in 1772, the right age for the revolutionary events, to wit: about 18 years old.  Eighteen years old was the age category of known raider Bowen and most of his "youthful friends", as Bowen described them,  who boarded the boats to attack the Gaspee.

Abial Brown and Joseph Bucklin 5th were both about the same age and were cousins. See relationship chart.  The Joseph Bucklin family and the Abial Brown family were both early inhabitants of Rehoboth, went back several generations of living in the same Rehoboth / Attleboro area, and the two families had intermarried. genealogical information and Abial's pedigree chart.    These facts are suggestive of similar activities by Abial and Joseph Bucklin 5th and of some likelihood that if Joseph was on the Gaspee attack, Abial was also.

Known real estate records do not show where Abial Brown Sr. and Jr. lived in 1772.  At least by 1816 the Brown homestead was at 17 Planet Street in Providence.  This was next door to Sabin's Tavern, from whence the raiding crew set forth to capture the Gaspee.  The Brown family decedents possessed a family-owned gavel reportedly made from one of the floor joists of the old Sabin Tavern when it was torn down in 1891.  The Brown family  were obviously aware and proud of the significance of the Sabin Tavern as the meeting site for the Gaspee raiding party.

Abial Jr. was alive on July 4th, 1827 and paraded on that date. [Providence Journal, 4 July 1827.]   William Whipple Brown reported that Abial was paraded in an "open barouche" (a formal elegant carriage).  Inasmuch as there were plenty of Revolutionary War soldiers still around, and known Gaspee raiders were paraded in open barouches in the Bristol 4th of July parades, it again suggests Gaspee involvement by Abiel.

Genealogical Information regarding Abial Brown, Jr.

Abial was a second cousin of Joseph Bucklin 5th, who fired the shot that caused the immediate surrender of the Gaspee.  See that relationship in graph form.  Indeed,  Abial, on both his fathers, and mother's side, was a direct descendent of William Bucklin who settled in the Rehoboth area of Rhode Island in about 1645.  See that relationship in graph form.  The Bucklins and Browns, from the 1600's had lived in the same area and had intermarried.  Not only was Abial's mother a Bucklin, when she died Abial's father then married the ((Bucklin) sister of the deceased.  Interesting genealogical facts regarding Abial and his immediate relatives are recited in a genealogical appendix regarding Abial Brown, Jr.  E.g., one of Abial's Bucklin uncles was Captain of a Rehoboth Minute Man company that seized English  arms and ammunition 10 days before the English marched on a like mission to seize colonist arms and ammunition in Lexington.)

Military History of Abial Brown, Jr.

Abial Brown, Jr. was active in the Revolutionary War, but without any special rank or distinguishing adventures except that of a loyal and hardworking soldier living through difficult times, hunger, bad weather, long marches, and noteworthy battles. The  Revolutionary War Pension record #S21659 of Abial (aka Abiel) Brown (Jr.)  shows that he enlisted from Attleborough in May 1775 into Captain Moses Richardson's Company of Colonel Timothy Walker's Regiment, and was stationed for eight months near Boston until his release date in December 31, 1775. In January 1776 he re-enlisted as a Sergeant in Captain David Dexter's Company of Colonel Christopher Lippitt's Regiment of Rhode Island Troops where he served out his time stationed in Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey. In New Jersey, General Washington personally appealed to his regiment to re-enlist for an extra month, which he did, resulting in a total of 13 months service under Lippitt.  A few months later, in October 1777,  he was commissioned as an Adjutant to Colonel Chad Brown, commanding the Regiment of Rhode Island Troops, serving but one month in that capacity.  In 1779 / 1780 he was living back in Attleborough, MA and was drafted as a private into Captain Robinson's Company of Colonel Tyler's Regiment of Massachusetts Troops which were stationed for two months at Bristol, RI.  Abial's  total service time was  24 months. The application for the pension, by his widow Lucy went to the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions, which, in assessing Lucy's claim noted that Abial Brown fought in the Battles of White Plains, Trenton, and Princeton.

Robert Perkins Brown (1850-1921), the son of William Whipple Brown, wrote the following statement and gave it to his family to preserve what his father had told him about Abial's military service..

"Abial Brown went to Boston with the Rhode Island Militia, and participated in the battle of Bunker Hill, handling a musket in the skirmish. He afterwards enlisted as 3rd Sergeant in the Seventh (7th) Capt. David Dexter's Company of Christopher Lippitt's Regiment, which was ordered enlisted by the General Assembly of Rhode Island for one year, from 18th January 1776. In September, 1773, the Regiment marched westward after the disastrous action on Long Island, and joined Gen. Washington's troops in New Jersey. On the 31st of December, 1775, at Crosswicks, New Jersey, the Regiment at solicitation of Gen. Washington through Gen. Mifflin, volunteered. another months service beyond the 18th January, 1777, when their enlistment expired and participated in defense of bridge at Trenton, which successful defense, together with captures made Princeton, turned the tide of war in favor of the colonies.

As proof that Abial Brown served through the campaign the pension stands as evidence, which Judge Benjamin Cowell obtained for him sometime subsequent to 1830; and every 4th of July he was paraded in the procession in an open barouche so long as health permitted. He lived at 17 Planet St. in the house now owned and occupied by myself, where he died April 11th, 1839.

The following is a memorandum of the authority for the above statement. William Whipple Brown (my father) and Judge Benjamin Cowell's "Spirit of '76 in Rhode Island". Page 35, and Appendix B.

--Robert Perkins Brown "