The Gaspee Attack
The Gaspee scholars claim that their shot drew the first British blood
in the fight for freedom. “It was the single, unifying military event.”
Abraham Whipple, once a privateer, directed the rowers to approach the
Gaspee from the front, where it could not aim its guns.
I don’t think a raid led by a drunken ex-pirate qualifies as a "military
event." As far as it being a "unifying" event, is there
any evidence of
follow up activity?
There is a program that has students re-enact Gaspee-era scenes.
Knowing that in this little village the first battle of the American Revolution
happened, I think the term "battle" overstates the action.
The attack infuriated King George, who issued a proclamation offering a
reward of 500 pounds for the conviction of any Gaspee raiders.
King George’s response is more in keeping with a criminal action than a
battle. His response to the actions in Lexington and Concord where sober
patriots took a deliberate stand against his army was to send more troops.
I think Warwick just needed an excuse for a festival.