In the early morning of June 10, 1772, a group of Rhode Islanders rowed out onto Narragansett Bay to seize the grounded British ship, the HMS Gaspee. The Gaspee’s commander, Lieutenant William Dudingston, had earned a reputation for harassing colonial sailors with arbitrary searches and seizure of their property. As the boats surrounded the Gaspee, the voice calling out for the British to surrender was that of captain Abraham Whipple.
In modern day Rhode Island, it is our own state government harassing us with arbitrary impositions on our rights and seizure of our property, and we must call out for them to surrender. The Gaspee Project’s “Whipple Liberty Index” ties legislators in the General Assembly to their votes on bills that restrict our liberties, disrupt our lives, and contribute to insiders’ 21st Century tyranny.