Talk:Gaspee Affair

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External links[edit]

The external links section could use a good cleaning. -- 16:11, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

No kidding! This whole page needs a lot of work. It appears that most of it was simply dumped in from elsewhere, with little organization.

Piledhigheranddeeper (talk) 19:21, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

First blood?[edit]

The Gaspee Affair was not the first blood of the revolution. The Battle of Golden Hill occurred prior. BradMajors (talk) 11:14, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

What is that from?[edit]

The "Historiographical background" section looks very bizzare: Totally unwikified and with some liberal "scare quotes" like "Republican" (?!). (talk) 17:16, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

This section appears to be text added by a professional historian. It's quite good, even if a bit too detailed compared to our coverage of the event itself. Hopefully the professor will return at some point to expand the rest of the article. Until then, simply fix up his wiki-formatting as needed. —Kevin Myers 11:15, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
It's wikified now, but it's still a little odd. It's not integrated into the rest of the article. And note that it really is historiography, not history, makes it a little out of place here. I would suggest moving into its own article, Historiography of the Gaspée Affair, and just giving a summary here.-- (talk) 00:25, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
History and historiography can (and often should) be covered in the same article, though it requires a command of the relevant secondary literature that is rarely found on Wikipedia. Now that I've taken a second look, I think the big problem here—apart from the fact that we have more historiography than history—is that the historiography section may be an original analysis of the secondary sources, which is not compliant with WP:OR. An analysis of the historiography of the Gaspée Affair needs to be published elsewhere before we can cover it here. —Kevin Myers 01:32, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I have moved the historiography section to a new article, Historiography of the Gaspée Affair, as suggested by the IP above, since (a) the section constitutes a massive example of WP:UNDUE, and (b) its lack of references and somewhat essay-ish tone may be easier to deal with in a separate article. Gatoclass (talk) 12:33, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Liberal scare quotes like Republican? Well, someone's a little sensitive, eh? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 24 June 2010 (UTC)


I'm not an expert on the British Royal Navy, but I do not believe they used the prefix "HMS" - His/Her Majesty's Ship - at that time. It only came into use many years later, and I suspect HMS has been added to the name by later accretion. It would have been known as "the Gaspée". (I am not confident enough of this to make a change in the text.) Michael of Lucan (talk) 08:40, 9 June 2009 (UTC)


I've never seen Gaspee spelled with an accent mark. I don't know who decided to add this (perhaps Mr. Historiography?) but it seems to be without any precedent. Locally, the name is pronounced "Gaspy", with no accent or stress on the Es (and I'm not sure how this accented spelling is supposed to be pronounced). The accents should probably be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:16, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Accent (part 2)[edit]

[moved here from my talk page] Someone redirected The Gaspee Affair to a new article titled Gaspée Affair. There was never a vessel named the Gaspée. In 1768 the Royal Navy commissioned the Gaspee. Named after a penisula in Canada called the Gaspé. I do not know where this new spelling is coming from? You may look in Ngram viewer to see that Gaspé is a word, and Gaspee is a word, but not Gaspée. I wrote my dissertation on the topic in 2005. I looked at 352 letters and documents about the Gaspee Affair in the National Archives in Kew Garden in London. Please switch it back to its proper spelling. StevenHPark (talk) 19:23, 26 June 2012 (UTC) Steven Park

I have seen several variations of Gaspée and don't really have an opinion on which is right. I did revert your UNEXPLAINED changes to the name in the text since it was inconsistent with the title of the article. As far as I can tell, this article has always used Gaspée (with the accent). If you want to change the article's name, then make the proposal. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 00:44, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Would be interested in seeing these "several variations" you're claiming to have seen. I have only ever seen "Gaspee." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:6:1C02:CA21:3955:88E5:3E8D:321D (talk) 12:14, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

The article had the proper name from 2005-2010 when it was redirected to this new article with the incorrect spelling. How does one make a proposal? To have this switched back to the way it should be? StevenHPark (talk) 19:50, 28 June 2012 (UTC) Steven Park

Any progress on getting this changed back to the correct spelling? I have seen two recent articles take their spelling (incorrectly) from this Wikipedia entry instead of relying on 240 years of published scholarship...we need to fix this back soon! It does not even match other Wikipedia articles (e.g. Gaspee Days Committee) Steven Park — Preceding unsigned comment added by StevenHPark (talkcontribs) 19:56, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Please note the two major, authoritative 19th Century published works on the Gaspee (Staples and Bartlett) do not have an accent.

Please note that the two major unpublished dissertations of the 20th century (Park and DeVaro) do not have the accent. Park, S. H. (2005). The burning of HMS gaspee and the limits of eighteenth-century british imperial power. University of Connecticut). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 221-221 DEVARO, L. J., JR. (1973). The impact of the gaspee affair on the coming of the revolution, 1772-1773. Case Western Reserve University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 359-359

Please note that the Gaspee Days committee, that is committed to preserving the memory of the Affair, does not have the accent.

Not sure where the accent came from?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by StevenHPark (talkcontribs) 13:38, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

I believe you are looking for WP:MOVE. An Admin will look it over and decide what to do. Padillah (talk) 13:57, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Indeed, as far as I can tell, the accent mark *only* appears here on Wikipedia, and nowhere else. It should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:24, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 21 March 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved per request Mike Cline (talk) 14:33, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Gaspée AffairGaspee Affair – The spelling 'Gaspée' is a mistake that only appears on Wikipedia. Bhickey (talk) 03:21, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Strong oppose - who says it is a mistake? It is used in hardback books : J. Jackson Owensby The United States Declaration of Independence (Revisited) 2010 Page 278 isbn 0984619542 "Introducing: The Gaspée Affair". Also per WP:FRMOS which requires correct spelling of French names on English Wikipedia. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:56, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

I will reluctantly put my hand up and say that having researched the Gaspee and written a book about it, I guess I qualify as some sort of expert here. And *I* say it's a mistake. I never saw this accent used anywhere before seeing it here on wikipedia. If someone somewhere spelled the first president's name as "Washingtown," would the wikiepdia page be changed? Would there be any debate about correcting it if it was? Of course not. That's pretty much the same situation as the one we have here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:6:1C02:CA21:442F:BEE8:2B2C:6393 (talk) 21:33, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Strong support Historical accounts give the name as Gaspee. See: Bartlett, John Russell A history of the destruction of His Britannic Majesty's schooner Gaspee, in Narragansett Bay, on the 10th June, 1772; accompanied by the correspondence connected therewith; the action of the General Assembly of Rhode Island thereon, and the official journal of the proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry appointed by King George the Third, on the same. By John Russell Bartlett. (1861). ( Owensby mentions the Gaspee only twice, citing Barlett. I would hardly conclude that this is authoritative. Given that his publication post dates this article, I suspect this is a case of Wikiality. The Gaspee Days Committee renders the name as Gaspee. WP:FRMOS is inapplicable, as HMS the Gaspee is the name of a British schooner, not a French ship. --Bhickey (talk) 17:13, 21 March 2015 (UTC) (Edit: HMS -> the. HMS is unsupported by primary sources. --Bhickey (talk) 22:08, 22 March 2015 (UTC))
You're the nominator - the nominator doesn't require his own support. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:41, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're getting at. As someone pointed out on your talk page last October and which you acknowledged, WP:RM states: "After the nomination has been made, nominators may nevertheless add a separate bullet point to support their nomination, but should add 'as nominator'". I happily admit missing the last part of that note. --Bhickey (talk) 23:13, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Here's a proclamation from King George III offering a reward for "diſcovering and apprehending the Perſons who plundered and burnt the Gaſpee Schooner": In his doctoral dissertation, Steven H. Park gives the name as Gaspee. When contributing to this page, Park commented that the admiralty purchased the ship from the French and Anglicized the name, citing Barlett. Finally, Fuller's The history of Warwick, Rhode Island, from its settlement in 1642 to the present time (1875) renders the name of the ship as Gaspee: "Among these vessels thus posted was the British armed schooner Gaspee, of eight guns, commanded by Lieut. Duddingston, which was accompanied by another called the Beaver." --Bhickey (talk) 18:41, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Bizarre, please look at WP:CRITERIA and WP:RS. We do not duplicate Olde Englyshe spelling nor font sets in titles. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:41, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
This is not a debate about fonts or unicode. There is not, nor has there ever been a British naval ship called Gaspée. The é didn't escape on the way to the printer. Handwritten primary sources write it as Gaspee. Let's break down WP:CRITERIA. Recognizability: Every primary source, 150 years of secondary sources, every resident of Warwick, Rhode Island and historians in the field use the name Gaspee. Naturalness: 'Such titles usually convey what the subject is actually called in English.' Check. Precision: Only one ship was burned, this criteria is not relevant. Conciseness: No change in conciseness. Consistency: Consistency is easily remedied and no excuse to use an incorrect title. I didn't suggest that we write the name with a long s. Besides, Old English was well out of vogue when this event happened. On WP:RS, the source you claimed as a "hardback book", 0984619542, appears to be a paperback from a possible vanity press. Meanwhile, I've provided contemporary documents and historical texts. What would convince you? --Bhickey (talk) 13:48, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Please see WP:PRIMARYSOURCES. In ictu oculi (talk) 13:16, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I ask that you familiarize yourself with these policies: "Unless restricted by another policy, reliable primary sources may be used in Wikipedia; but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them." Moreover, the documents I've provided are a mixture of primary sources (the captain of the vessel, a proclamation from King George), secondary sources (Edmund Burke in 1780, Barlett in 1861). --Bhickey (talk) 22:48, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. I'm curious to know what the earliest source is that refers to this ship as Gaspée. Are there sources earlier than Bartlett that make that usage? It looks like strong evidence in favor of the rename. —Tim Pierce (talk) 22:34, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
The earliest usage of the accented spelling I've found is in a 1941 biography of Thomas Jefferson (Daugherty, The way of an eagle). Like the other uses of the accented spelling, this is in passing. I have been unable to identify a work principally focused on the event that uses this spelling. For early usages we see the unaccented spelling in: The history of the rise, progress and establishment of the independence of the United States of America: Including an account of the late war, and of the thirteen colonies (William Gordon, 1801), Memoirs of the reign of George III, (William Belsham, 1796). Importantly, the Belsham text includes diacritical marks. A 1780 edition of Edmund Burke's An impartial history of the war in America also gives the spelling as Gaspee. It is interesting, though not entirely relevant, that early British texts (1760) make reference to the Gaspé Peninsula by the name Gaspee. Using the accented spelling on this basis would be like renaming HMS London to HMS Londinium. --Bhickey (talk) 23:02, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
The ngram viewer corroborates this. --Bhickey (talk) 23:16, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
User:Bhickey again re the preference for use of secondary sources see: Wikipedia:No_original_research#Primary.2C_secondary_and_tertiary_sources and WP:TRUTH In ictu oculi In ictu oculi (talk) 13:19, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
User talk:In ictu oculi: The use of ngrams is specifically called out as reasonable supporting evidence by WP:RM. Again, I ask that you familiarize yourself with these policies if you want to quote them at people. I think you're misunderstanding the distinction between a primary and secondary source. From the policy you linked to, "A secondary source provides an author's own thinking based on primary sources, generally at least one step removed from an event." Edmund Burke was an Irish statesman who took no part in this naval engagement. William Belsham was an English historian. These are reliable secondary sources despite your puzzling claims to the contrary. --Bhickey (talk) 22:48, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
User:Tim Pierce what is the usage in modern WP:RELIABLESOURCES on Google Books? What % of books since 1990 which use French accent-enabled fonts use it for this ship? In ictu oculi (talk) 13:19, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't personally see why modern sources should be favored over contemporary ones, and I'm curious why you do. Under the circumstances, I think contemporary sources seem more relevant. —Tim Pierce (talk) 15:46, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. has a quite list of RS to support this move,[1] including Columbia Encyclopedia and American Heritage magazine. See also EB. It was a British ship. Gaspee/Gaspée is not remotely a common name in French.[2][3] See also La France et l'Indépendance américaine:[4] (Plus spectaculairement cependant, des habitants de Rhode Island avaient saisi et brûlé le cotre des Affaires maritimes Gaspee le 9 juin 1772) The initializer (talk) 01:02, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - Gaspee is the more common name. Even the encyclopaedia Britannica uses Gaspee. Mbcap (talk) 03:33, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
  • STRONG SUPPORT. I have researched and written about the Gaspee, and have *never* seen the accent used *anywhere* but here. It is obviously a mistake and should be corrected so that others, taking their information from wikipedia, do not compound this error. 2601:6:1C02:CA21:442F:BEE8:2B2C:6393 (talk) 21:18, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Redirects French ship Gaspée / French ship Gaspee[edit]

HMS Gaspée (1763) redirects here, so as this ship was formerly French, the equivalent French redirect should also redirect here -- (talk) 05:17, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Evidence please? Not questioning it given the name, but Joseph Conlin The American Past: A Survey of American History 0495566101 2008 simply says "In June 1772, the Gaspée, a British schooner patrolling Narragansett Bay spotted a vessel suspected of smuggling and chased it toward Providence. About seven miles from the city, the Gaspée ran aground." Where's the source in the article demonstrating was originally French? No objection to creating redirects if a source is found. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:03, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Citation needed I have been unable to find a reliable source on the provenance of His Majesty's Britannic Schooner Gaspee. --Bhickey (talk) 21:26, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

The Gaspee was NOT French. It was built in a shipyard in Canada and bought with several other vessels by the British for use in the American colonies.

The accent mark has NO precedent; I have researched and written about the Gaspee and never seen an accent used anywhere but wikipedia. Citing one modern usage isn't enough when hundreds of years of scholarship and original documents show the name with no accent. I'd bet a dollar that the author of that book took the spelling from wiipedia, compounding the error. So who put the accent here in the first place? It really needs to be removed, as it's simply incorrect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:6:1C02:CA21:6181:1E2E:F611:E70 (talk) 18:41, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

There are scattered references to the accented spelling, but never in any work focused primarily on the event. The earliest usage I've been able to identify is from 1941. The ngram viewer suggests a single occurrence in a text from the 1830s, but I've so far been unable to find it. It seems very likely that modern sources are simply parroting wikipedia. Here's a graph of ngram usage from 1750 through 2000. Similarly it looks like HMS Gaspee first emerged in the mid-1950s. Some early works refer to the ship as "His Majesty's Britannic Schooner Gaspee", but never "HMS Gaspee" and certainly not the doubly confused "HMS Gaspée". Both HMS Gaspée (1763) and HMS Gaspee (1763) redirect here. I don't see obvious harm in allowing them to persist, no matter their wrongness. --Bhickey (talk) 21:26, 27 March 2015 (UTC)