June 9, 1772

The Burning of the Gaspée

A group of Rhode Islanders force the Royal Navy schooner Gaspée aground in Narragansett Bay on the night of June 9. They board her the next morning, wound her commander, capture the crew, and proceed to burn the ship. The royal commission appointed to investigate the affair in September was empowered to send suspects to England for trial, a measure that inflamed colonial sentiments and led directly to the creation of the intercolonial committees of correspondence.

Browse Content By Theme