The HMS Gaspee and her hated commander, Lt. William Dudingston, were sent by King George III to Rhode Island waters in March of 1772 to enforce the maritime trade laws and prevent smuggling. They made no friends amongst the colonists in harassing shipping and delaying, often unjustly, ships that had properly passed custom inspection in Newport.
The latter was the case on June 9, 1772, when the packet sloop Hannah left Newport for Providence. When the Gaspee gave chase, Hannah's Captain Lindsey deliberately lured her across the shallows off Namquid Point (now Gaspee Point) and left the British ship hard aground on a sandbar, unable to move until the flood tide of the following day. Near daylight on June 10th, the Rhode Islanders set fire to the Gaspee, burning her to the waterline. Public sentiment was in accord with the venture; this spirit of unity soon spread to the other colonies with the formation of the Committees of Correspondence to prevent further threats.
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF: once again, as 244 years ago, our elitist political rulers have ignited a firestorm by reverting to heavy-handed tactics in a brazen attempt to control commerce by harassing business owners, against the will of the people ... and once again, as in 1772, the working class has been pressed into rebellion ... this time as the Gaspee Business Network (GBN)!
What is the Gaspee Business Network? Are we a chamber of commerce? NO. Are we a formal business association? NO. We are a group of concerned business owners who want to be able to continue to profitably operate and to keep Rhode Island as home for our children, grand-children, and entire family.
GBN is a movement. Led by volunteer business owners who believe that private-sector companies must unite to have a voice in our government so as to advance pro-business policy reforms. Professionally managed as a brand of an officially registered RI nonprofit organization that has also been granted 501-C-4 status by the IRS, GBN is all about action ... without the bloated overhead and political conflict of other business groups.
Objective: To fulfill our mission of developing a strong and incorruptible voice for the business community, the primary objective of the Gaspee Business Network is to strengthen the state's dismal business climate by advancing pro-growth public policies and candidates, and to oppose those that do not. (see home page for specific policy policy examples)
Where many existing chambers of commerce and other business associations have failed, acting more like insider cronies than independent representatives of their members, you'll be able to count on GBN to hold firm to its pro-business principles.