Visitors To Commemorate Gunpowder Plot

August 7, 2015

Members of the Sons of the American Revolution [SAR], the Daughters of the American Revolution [DAR], and the Children of the American Revolution [CAR] will be in Bermuda next week to commemorate the 240th anniversary of the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot.

The delegation of more than 50 people includes members from Alabama, California, Georgia, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Three scheduled ceremonies will be open to the public, designed to bring attention to Bermuda’s role in the American Revolution and deepen the long-standing friendship between the United States and Bermuda. The groups will also make donations to Bermuda charities.

To start things off, on Friday, August 14 at 4:30 p.m. there will be a ceremony at Port Royal Golf Course dedicating a DAR-SAR-CAR historical marker honoring Thomas and St. George Tucker, who separately informed leaders of the American cause that the lightly guarded magazine in Bermuda contained about 100 barrels of gunpowder, which was in short supply in the colonies.

A series of commemorative stamps issued for the 200th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot

bermuda-gunpowder-plot-stamps issued 1975

With that intelligence, Benjamin Franklin and others in Philadelphia were able to convince a few Bermudians to “appropriate” the gunpowder and have it loaded on American ships waiting off of Tobacco Bay. In exchange, the Bermudians received a partial exemption from the Continental Congress’s trade embargo, which would allow Bermuda to continue receiving the American farm products on which islanders depended.

The second and third ceremonies will occur on Saturday, August 15 at 4:45 p.m. at the Town Square in St. George’s. Mayor Quinell Francis will greet the delegation and preside over a re-enactment of one of the events leading up to the theft of the gunpowder.

The group and members of the public will then walk up the hill, past the Unfinished Church, and dedicate a DAR-SAR-CAR historical marker near the site of the Gunpowder Magazine.

That will be followed at about 6:00 p.m. by a re-enactment of the rolling of the barrels of gunpowder down the hill toward Tobacco Bay Beach and the dedication of an interpretive sign regarding the Bermuda Gunpowder Plot at Tobacco Bay. The event will wrap up with a party at the beach for Bermudians and tourists alike with Revolutionary War-themed specials.

The delegation of more than 50 SAR, DAR and CAR representatives includes members from Alabama, California, Georgia, Maryland, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

National officers from all three organizations, including two past National Presidents of the S.A.R. and the current National President of the C.A.R., will officiate at the dedication of three historical markers in separate ceremonies in Southampton Parish and the Town of St. George’s.

The groups have sold commemorative pins, raising over $4,000 to help “pay Bermuda back” for the stolen gunpowder. They will donate the monies to the Bermuda National Trust, the St. George’s Foundation, the Friends of St. Peter’s Church, the Family Centre, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Bermuda

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Comments (8)

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  1. Thomas Mahoney says:

    Wonderful

  2. The irony of the actual event, whereby ones worse enemy ended up becoming ones best friend…In any case, this sounds like a grand occasion and we look forward in attending.

  3. Back then it was called “appropriate”, today we call it theft.

  4. Eve says:

    This group will bring in more people at their own expense than BTA can bring in a year of free trips they give away. Plus the group is bringing a $4,000 gift for Bermuda charities. Good job!

  5. KitKat says:

    Let’s give these guys the best welcome we can, and suggest they have a look around some of our forts and the Commissioner’s House in Dockyard- and I’ll bet you they’ll come back. We have so much shared history with the US AND the UK, especially in military matters, that we really do not capitalize enough on as part of our tourism product. Historical tourism is a big draw for sites all over the world (think the Jamestown settlement, or Stratford-on-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare) and we’ve got plenty of history and the big iron guns to go with it- PLUS the beach! Let’s work with what we’ve got!

  6. Barrett L. McKown says:

    My wife and I are excited at returning to Bermuda again. My first visit was in 1961 as a young batchelor. That was when the 6 pence coin was real silver and would cover alot! It was a great week staying at the Coral Island Club across from the aquarium and driving my motor bike everywhere. Since then I have had two return trips with my wife back in the 70s. That was when the Russian Tall Ship was visiting. We even toured aboard which we couldn’t do when it was visiting Baltimore. Thanks for your friendly comments.

  7. Bdaluv says:

    $4,000 between 5 charities is not much money at all! How much did BTA/ Corporation of St. G give them for this event? They are not even staying in the East End. Wasted of tax payers money!