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

In this section of
Gaspee Raiders
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

Go to
Gaspee History
for history, overall facts, background, results, and analysis of the  1772 attack itself.


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.

Joseph Bucklin, <i>Gaspee</i> Attacker, died at sea.
Joseph Bucklin 5th, the fifth in a line of Joseph Bucklins, was the 18 year old Gaspee Raider that shot the English ship captain and started the capture of the Capture.  The severely wounded English captain surrendered the ship, which was then burned and sunk by the attackers. When the leaders of Rhode Island prevented the English from punishing Bucklin and his fellow raiders, war was inevitable. Rhode Island celebrates Joseph's action as the first shot of the American Revolution.

If your name is Bucklin, you can feel a real connection with the events and sacrifices that formed the American Revolution.

History will always record the famous shot of Joseph Bucklin.  But history still does not record much about the man who was the Joseph Bucklin who did the shooting. We do not know much about the life of  Joseph Bucklin 5th outside his actions on the night of June 9, 1772.

With a 1000 English pound reward posted for his capture (and almost certain execution if caught) it is little wonder that little is known about him during the American Revolutionary War.  When the English army occupied Newport, Rhode Island, his family must have feared greatly for his safety. 

We do know that  the Rhode Island legislature in 1777 cryptically noted a payment by the colony to: "Joseph Bucklin, Jr., for his time and expenses in going to, and returning from Baltimore", paying Joseph enough money to supply a man to live for a year without employment.

We also know that he died "at sea" in 1781, which suggests that he was at least part of the time involved in working on a ship (or like his youthful companions of 1772, working as a captain of a merchant ship or a privateer ship).

Joseph 5th's death at sea before the end of the Revolutionary War erased what might have been a noted career that could have been as distinguished as the Joseph Bucklins that were is forbearers.

 The few other documented events of his life are listed below.

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. both because of the Bucklin family's long and significant history in the area and because of the considerable merchant activities of Joseph Bucklin 4th, there is a great deal of information available about Joseph Bucklin 4th.  More of the available information regarding Joseph 4th.)

Joseph 4th and Joseph 5th, in 1772, lived in Providence, Rhode Island, about 3 houses west of the Great Bridge over the Providence River.  The location itself is significant, for those who moved here in a deliberate attempt to remove from the dominant religious and social authorities intended that this west side of the river would be liberal in thought.

When Joseph 5th was 14 years old he lived in a location where his father sold supplies and labor for ship repair activities, as well as merchant sales.  In that year, 1768, his father was master of the brigantine Providence (owned by his father and two other prominent merchants of Providence) when it was confiscated for being involved in smuggling, by an English navy ship acting much as the Gaspee was acting in 1772.  So Joseph 5th grew up knowing ships and knowing the effect of the English customs taxes.

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".  

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"

Joseph Bucklin, <i>Gaspee</i> Attacker, died at sea.

Joseph 5th died, lost at sea, in 1781. His death is documented in the handwritten record (shown above) in the family bible of Joseph Bucklin 4th. [Original page is preserved in Manuscript room of the Rhode Island Historical Society.]  Joseph 5th is not named in his father's will of 1789, which confirms that Joseph 5th predeceased Joseph 4th.

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).

Consider making a contribution for research of information about this particular person who was involved in proud parts of American History. We do have professional researchers available to us, but they need to be paid. $60 pays for an hour of professional research, but any amount is welcome.)

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