www.earlsalisbury.com

Correcting Family History

1. Nathan comes home smelling of sulphur dioxide (rotten eggs) and maybe a little rum, and explains to his 25 year old wife (Abigail) that he was on Warwick Neck with his artillery unit firing the eighteen-pounders at a grounded frigate.

2. Several decades later (after Nathan's demise) Abigail has the opportunity to tell the story of the cannon attack to her grand-children including pre-teens James Henry Salisbury and his brother Charles.

3. The boys use the story as a plot for their yard/dirt/stone games and ask to hear the story again at each family gathering.

4. Famous author, James Fennimore Cooper, publishes his famous volumes on the history of the US Navy and the boys (now older men) get a copy and start reading it with the expectation that they will find the whole story of the cannon attack on a grounded frigate.

5. Instead, they find, on page 39, the story of the Gaspee. There is no mention of cannons or of a frigate. They assume the author made an error and start a project to submit a correction.

6. They purchase a cemetery stone with Gramps name on it and a mention of the cannon attack.

7. James Henry sends a letter regarding the possible error to Stephen Salisbury of the historical society.

8. When an opportunity to submit family information to various local history publications they always include Nathan's cannon attack on the Gaspee.

9. Several decades later, family historian, Earl Salisbury, and a Great-great-great-great grandson of Nathan, decided to do a first person character called Nathan and uses the conventional (accepted/proven) story about the Gaspee, not including cannons or frigate.

10. A front page article (1998) in the Daily Reporter (Greenfield Indiana) called "Firing the First Shot" featuring Earl resulted in a connection with the Gaspee Days Committee in Rhode Island and having member Dr. John Concanon contact Earl and request he give his program in Rhode Island at the grade schools.

11. For the next decade Earl would go out to Rhode Island and enjoy the notariety of being a marcher with the "Descendants of the Gaspee Raiders" and many other parade goups. The event has an attendence of about 70,000. An article in the Wall Street Journal" with a picture of Earl received world-wide circulation.

12. The haunting question was the "frigate and cannons" mentioned by Nathan's wife. One evening while doing some of the continuous research to find an answer Earl was doing a Google search on eighteen pound cannons and found the story of the attack on the Frigate Diamond. All of a sudden it all made sense.

13. Nathan Salisbury was involved in the attack on the Frigate Diamond on January 2, 1777