Skip to content

The Characters

Lt. William Dudingston

Lt. William Dudingston, 35, Captain of the Gaspee, whose arrogance and rough enforcement of trade restrictions caused the colonists to demand autonomy and independence. Dudingston seized the sloop Fortune, assaulted the captain, and sold the ship and its cargo of rum. @GaspeeCaptn

John Brown

John Brown, 36, a leading Providence merchant whose extensive wealth came from astute trading in the Triangular Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves. Brown owned the Hannah and organized and participated in the raid on the Gaspee. @JohnBrownProv

Benjamin Lindsey

Benjamin Lindsey, Captain of the Hannah, refused the Gaspee’s demand to stop and was thus chased up Narragansett Bay. Capt. Lindsey’s knowledge of the bay allowed him to lure the Gaspee to run aground on Namquid Point on the outgoing tide. @HannahCaptn

James Sabin

James Sabin, 41, owner of the Sabin Tavern where the raid on the Gaspee was debated and organized. He made various excuses of illness and business problems when asked to appear before the Royal Commission to name names. @JamesSabinInn

John Mawney

John Mawney, 22, was a young medical student who participated in the raid and who also later wrote about it. That night he gave critical medical aid to Lt. Dudingston on board the Gaspee and saved the captain’s life. @DocMawney

Abraham Whipple

Abraham Whipple, 39, an experienced ship captain employed by the Brown family and appointed by John Brown as the leader of the Gaspee raid. @CaptnWhipple

Supporting Characters

Ephraim Bowen, Raider

Age 19, witnessed the shooting of Lt. Dudingston. Many years later he wrote about his experience that night. @BowenRaider

Joseph Bucklin, Raider

Age 18, fired the shot intended to kill Lt. Dudingston. Bucklin was later lost at sea while on a privateering mission. @BucklinRaider

Patrick Earl, Gaspee Sentry

Age 28, Gaspee boatswain’s mate, was the sentry on duty that night and later claimed to recognize some of the raiders. @GaspeeSentry

Mr. Greene, Raider

The Greenes were a prominent RI family and their ship, the Fortune, was the first vessel seized by Lt. Dudingston, who sold off the ship and its cargo of rum. @GreeneRaider

Stephen Hopkins, Governor

Former Governor Stephen Hopkins interpreted the Royal Charter of 1663 to allow him to intervene during the investigation by the Crown. Gov. Hopkins’ house is at 15 Hopkins Street. @GovHopkins

John Howland, Onlooker

Age 14, stood on Fenner’s Wharf (right by Hemenway’s) watching the longboats pull out. Howland later became an important community leader. @JohnProvBoy

Daniel Pearce, Drummer Boy

Age 17, beat the drum to invite “those persons who felt a disposition to go and destroy that troublesome vessel, to repair in the evening to Mr. James Sabin’s house.” @DrummerPearce

Capt. Simeon Potter, Raider

Age 52, was a slave trader and a privateer who piloted a boat from Bristol. He has been “described as a privateer who wildly exceeded the bounds of his commission.” @PotterRaider

Justin Jacobs

Age 17, was found the next morning wearing Lt. Dudingston’s gold-laced hat. His friends hushed him up with “sharp words” and hustled him out of town. @JustinGetsAHat