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The Sabin Tavern

The granite memorial at this spot commemorates
the Sons of Liberty who attacked the British ship the
Gaspee on the night of June 9, 1772. This is the spot
where the Sabin Tavern used to be. Back then most
people did not have offices they conducted business
in taverns and coffeehouses – like Starbucks today.
The town crier had been sent out earlier in the
day when it was learned the Gaspee had run
aground on a sandbar in Narragansett Bay
while chasing the Providence ship – “Hannah”.
Just up the hill at the top of Planet Street is the home of
the John Brown one of the best known of Providence’s
early colonists. His house is now home to the Rhode
Island Historical Society and is well worth a visit and tour.
Brown and his fellow colonists debated in the tavern.
Should they use this opportunity to attack the British
empire? No doubt they drank up a good deal of
Rhode Island courage, Providence was home to many
rum distilleries. Eventually they decided to make the
attack before the rising tide the freed the Gaspee. The
first shot in the Revolution would be fired that night.
When we hear that Boston was the first shot we say “Just a
minute, man.” The history books were written in Boston
but now you know the true story, taking the bunk out of
Bunker Hill.