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This book chronicles the history of the HMS Gaspee, a sloop in the British Royal Navy that was sent to patrol the waters of Narragansett Bay in 1772. The Gaspee cracked down on smugglers and enforced British customs regulation, particularly the Stamp Act. The ship and her captain, William Duddington, were quickly hated by colonists for their campaign of brutality, harassment, and arbitrary enforcement. When the Gaspee ran around in shallow waters, while in pursuit of a colonist merchant ship, they took immediate action. The colonists, led by John Brown and other local notables, burned Gaspee and wounded her captain. This act of revolt preceded the Boston Tea Party by 18 months.