Rhode Island Coming of the Revolution The earliest signs of the Country Revolution in Rhode Island were protests in 1765 against the Stamp Act, followed by more protests against the Townshend duties in 1767. In 1772, the British war ship Gaspee was assigned to patrol Narragansett Bay for smugglers avoiding the duties. When Rhode Islanders protested, the British threatened to hang anyone who resisted being searched. Corpus Christi Map Tourist Attractions Captain Benjamin Lindsey organized a group of men who burned the Gaspee to the waterline. Shortly after the Revolutionary War officially began with the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775, Rhode Island sent troops under the command of Nathaniel Greene to Massachusetts. The colonies began plans for a separate country with the 1774 convening of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Rhode Island sent two representatives, Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward. The two were also sent in June of 1775, when the Continental Congress met for a second time. Following the creation of the Continental army, Hopkins argued for the creation of a navy as well. The Continental navy was organized in December 1775 under the command of Esek Hopkins, Stephen Hopkins’s younger brother. On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island became the first colony to declare itself fully independent of Britain. The other colonies quickly followed.