The Gaspee Days Ecumenical Service is a non-denominational service with music by the West Bay Chorus, and is hailed as “An outstanding tribute to the faith of America”.
About Gaspee Days: The Gaspee Days Committee is a civic-minded nonprofit organization that operates many community events in and around Pawtuxet Village, including the famous Gaspee Days Parade each June. These events are all designed to commemorate the burning of the hated British revenue schooner, HMS Gaspee, by Rhode Island patriots in 1772 as America’s ‘First Blow for Freedom’ TM
Gaspee 1772In June of 1772 brave colonists from Rhode Island burned the British revenue schooner, HMS Gaspee, during what has become recognized as the first bloodshed of the American Revolution.
For the past 49 years the village of Pawtuxet, RI has commemorated this act with our annual Gaspee Days Celebration. Please join us as we celebrate America’s “First Blow for Freedom.” ™
About The Gaspee Event: HMS Gaspee and her hated commander, Lt. William Dudingston, were sent by King George III to Rhode Island waters in March of 1772 to enforce the trade laws and prevent smuggling. They made no friends amongst the colonists in harassing shipping and delaying, often unjustly, ships that had properly passed custom inspection in Newport.
Near daylight on June 10th, the Rhode Islanders set fire to the Gaspee, burning her to the waterline whereupon her powder magazine exploded. Efforts of the Crown to learn the names of the culprits were unsuccessful, although a sizable reward had been offered. Public sentiment was in accord with the venture; this spirit of unity soon spread to the other colonies with the formation of the Committees of Correspondence to prevent further threats. It was but a short step from here to the First Continental Congress and eventually the Declaration of Independence.
Featured image from TrinityChurch.