Fenner's Wharf

Sinking of the HMS Gaspee. Naval War College Museum (Newport, RI).

Sinking of the HMS Gaspee. Naval War College Museum (Newport, RI).

Fenner's Wharf, a tract of waterfront property in Providence, Rhode Island, at what is now 155 South Main Street, was the launching point for the Gaspee Incident (June 9-10, 1772), considered by some to be "The First Blow for Freedom" leading to the American Revolution. The wharf was owned by Arthur Fenner (1699-1788), father of the Arthur Fenner (1745-1805) who would become governor of Rhode Island. It was located across the water from James Sabin's Tavern, and "was also apparently the dock site for the packet and ferry service between Providence and Newport operated by Gaspee co-conspiritor Benjamin Lindsay" (gaspee.org).

"Altogether, including the eight boat captains and John Brown, about sixty-five volunteers rowed away from Fenner's Wharf, directly across from Sabin's Tavern, at about ten o'clock that night. John Howland, later a prominent businessman and proponent of public education, was fourteen years old at the time. Many years later, he wrote about standing on the wharf and watching them go" (gaspee.org).

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