Dr. Kathy Abbass of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) will present “Ships and Shipwrecks of the Revolution in Rhode Island” on Thursday evening March 24, at 7 p.m. eastern at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol. More than 200 vessels are known to have been lost in Rhode Island waters during the Revolutionary War. These include Royal Navy ships run ashore around Aquidneck Island and burned on purpose to avoid capture, British owned transports and victuallers scuttled as block ships to protect troops in Newport from the threatening French fleet, Colonial craft destroyed by British and Hessian raids in Warren, and many vessels lost during the usual marine peril that was common in the local 18th-century maritime economy. Among the ships discussed will be RIMAP’s studies of the Lord Sandwich transport in Newport that had been the Endeavour of Capt. Cook’s first circumnavigation, RIMAP’s search for HMS Gaspee, originally a Marblehead schooner burned by Patriots at Warwick’s Gaspee Point, and the naval story of the Battle of Rhode Island in Portsmouth in 1778.
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) was created in 1992 to include members of the diving and non-diving public in a professionally organized and directed effort to study Rhode Island’s maritime history and marine archaeology. RIMAP is a federally approved 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with an interest in the maritime history and marine archaeology of Narragansett Bay, the Sounds, the state’s rivers and other inland waters, and how all of these connect Rhode Island to the wider world.