, : The most notable pioneer descendant of Samuel was his great grandson, Commodore Abraham Whipple
, of Cranston, Rhode Island. This property was located approximately four miles south of the town of Providence and was not part of the Louquisset bequest. Sarah Whipple was a niece (daughter of a brother William) of Stephen Hopkins, an often Governor of Rhode Island and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Their son John Hopkins Whipple continued to follow the sea after leaving Marietta, Ohio, and never married. Mary had three daughters, after marrying Dr. Ezekiel Comstock of Smithfield, all of whom were married in Smithfield Township. Catherine's grandson was Henry H. Sibley the first Governor of the state of Minnesota. Several descendants of the female branches are living in the states of Michigan, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts under the names of Sibley, Comstock, and Fisher. Catherine was the only child mentioned in Abraham's Last Will and Testament.[ 10 ]Abraham Whipple
led the American colonies' first open, armed opposition to British forces in the burning of the Gaspee on 10 June 1772. He subsequently was appointed Commodore of the American Navy 15 June 1775. He fought in the cause of the revolution until being made a prisoner of war in 1780, remaining so until 1782.
Hospital care was not made available during Abraham's long imprisonment. He, with characteristic generosity, provided suitable accommodations for his fellow prisoners at his own expense. During all this period, he was deprived of the means of earning a living, so that at the declaration of peace he was left in a destitute financial condition at 50 years of age. In person, Commodore Whipple was rather short, thickset and stout, with great muscular strength in his younger years; eyes dark gray, with manly, strong marked features, indicating firmness and intrepidity. After the war, it was Whipple who as a merchant marine captain first unfurled the American flag in London. Home once more in Rhode Island, he was honored as one of the members of the first State Legislatures.
After the declaration of peace, Abraham petitioned Congress for a redress of back pay. The amount owed to him was over $16,000. The fledgling Congress was not able to pay the full financial debt it owed to thousands of veterans like Abraham. Thus, after years of distinguished service to his nation, a service that left him penurious, he was forced to sell his Rhode Island property, in 1788, and move west shortly after the Ohio Company was formed. He emigrated with his wife and son, in company with the family of Colonel Ebenezer Sproat, who had married his daughter Catherine. He was then 55 years old when he left the land of his forefathers, to seek a new home in the valley of the Ohio. In 1811, Commodore Whipple finally received from Congress the half pay of a Captain in service, or thirty dollars a month. This relieved him from any further anxiety as to support in the last days of life, and rendered the remaining years free from care.
Abraham died after a short illness, on the 29th day of May 1819, aged 85 years, at a small farm three miles from Marietta, near his widowed daughter Catherine Sproat. Sarah, his wife, died October 1818, aged 79 years. They were buried side by side in the town square in Marietta.
It is difficult to comprehend as to why Abraham Whipple
, one America's greatest patriots is honored with but two modest memorials, a Providence street that bears his name, and his grave headstone some 700 miles from his native home. No citizen of any state could claim as many "firsts" in the war for independence as he. Truly, he might be called the forgotten man of the Continental Navy. No man in the Continental Navy ever excelled Whipple. His accomplishments warrant his being ranked with the illustrious John Paul Jones and the redoubtable