On June 9, 1772, a group of men took control of and burned to the waterline the armed schooner HMS Gaspee, a British customs vessel that had run aground in Warwick, Rhode Island. It is the most famous of a long line of violent protest acts against the Royal Navy vessels sent to Narragansett Bay to enforce payments of taxes on imports.
For its second lecture of the year, the Battle of Rhode Island Association and the Middletown Historical Society are pleased to announce a lecture by Dr. Steven Park, the author of “The Burning of His Majesty’s Schooner Gaspee; An Attack on Crown Rule Before the American Revolution”.
This presentation, “250 years – the changing landscape of Gaspee history. “ will take place Tuesday September 27th from 7 to 8pm at Innovate Newport 513 Broadway in Newport RI.
The facts of the case are seemingly well-know. The schooner is chasing a Providence bound packet boat that had already cleared customs in Newport. The captain of the packet, Benjamin Lindsey, refuses to stop when hailed by the schooner and manages to skirt shoal water off Warwick Neck. The bigger Gaspee runs hard aground. Lindsey continues to Providence and spreads word of the stranded schooner. Soon a group of patriots leave Providence in long boats, row to Warwick, and attack the Gaspee burning it to the waterline.
Dr. Park proceeds to take the audience through a fascinating look at evidence that may corroborate the popular account, or it may show that the incident occurred, not by happenstance, but rather as the result of an elaborate plot to stir support for the independence movement.
The lecture is open to the public at no charge; although, donations are most welcome. No reservations are required.
Dr. Steven Park received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Connecticut where he taught United States and maritime history for seventeen years before joining the Institute for Teaching and Learning as an education technologist. He currently serves as the Director of Academic and Scholarly Technology at Wheaton College and has written several articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including International Maritime History, American Neptune, Journal of the American Revolution, and Connecticut History Review.
The Middletown Historical Society is an all-volunteer, non-profit educational organization, founded in 1976. Our mission is to preserve the history of the town, investigate all aspects of past records & new findings pertaining to the history, promote education and preserve historical landmarks while providing the ability for others to view.
The BATTLE OF RHODE ISLAND ASSOCIATION is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to raising awareness of Rhode Island’s role in the War for Independence and to the support of the BUTTS HILL FORT RESTORATION COMMITTEE whose mission is to restore and maintain the Revolutionary War fort in order to provide a safe and accessible educational and recreational site that raises public interest in this National Historic Landmark and its role in the Battle of Rhode Island. Donations may be made payable to “BoRIA” at PO Box 626, Portsmouth, RI 02871.