Destruction of the schooner gaspee, from an old engraving. The Providence Plantations for 250 Years (1886), page 59. Source: The Providence Plantations for 250 Years (1886), page 59

Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) will be making an announcement regarding the search for the HMS Gaspee, the British customs schooner that was torched by Rhode Island colonists in an act of revolutionary defiance after running aground in shallow water on June 9, 1772, according to a news release published this week from the Rhode Island General Assembly.

The announcement will take place at 11 am on Tuesday, May 10, at the Aspray Boat House in Pawtuxet Village at an event marking the 250th anniversary of the Gaspee Affair. British Consul General Dr. Peter Abbott will be in attendance for the announcement.

After Representative McNamara’s greetings and introduction, the press release says that welcoming remarks will be given by Steve Miller, president of the Gaspee Days Committee. Col. Ron Barnes will then present a commemorative coin to the consul general.

Dr. D. Kathy Abbass, founder and principal investigator of the Rhode Island Marine Archeology Project (RIMAP) will make some remarks, followed by questions and answers. John Howell, publisher of the Warwick Beacon and the Cranston Herald will then offer a toast before Representative McNamara’s announcement.

Abbass and RIMP have been involved in the search for Captain Cook’s Endeavour in Newport Harbor. In February, the Australian National Maritime Museum that the shipwreck of James Cook’s famous vessel, His Majesty’s Bark Endeavour, has been positively identified in Newport Harbor, while Abbass has said she’s not convinced.

[Read More – Captain Cook’s HMB Endeavour ‘positively identified’ at bottom of Newport Harbor]

At the conclusion of the event, organizers say that participants will walk down to the Peck Lane Monument, recognizing the landing site where the Gaspee crew disembarked in Pawtuxet Village.

The burning of the HMS Gaspee, along with other acts of violence in Narragansett Bay, set the stage for other uprisings, such as the Boston Tea Party two years later, which ultimately led to the Battle of Concord and Lexington and the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775.

Since 1965, Pawtuxet Village has commemorated the act with its annual Gaspee Days celebration finding new ways to engage the community and promote awareness of Rhode Island’s place in American history. The festival includes arts and crafts and races, but the highlight is the Gaspee Days parade, which features burning the Gaspee in effigy and a Revolutionary War battle reenactment.