The Tun Tavern (the "Tavern") was a brew house
built by Samuel Carpenter in 1685.
It was located on Philadelphia's historic waterfront
at the corner of Water Street and Tun Alley
leading to Carpenter’s Wharf near what is today known as
On November 10, 1775, Robert Mullan, the proprietor of the Tavern
and son of Peggy Mullan, was commissioned by an act of Congress
to raise the first two battalions of Marines,
under the leadership of Samuel Nicholas,
the first appointed Commandant of the Continental Marines.
Nicholas's grandfather was also a member of the
Tun Tavern Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons
and it is this relationship between Mullan, Nicholas and the
Tavern which has resulted in Tun Tavern being acknowledged
as the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps.
(Early Marine Corp Emblem)
Resolution of the Continental Congress
"That two Battalions of Marines be raised consisting of
one Colonel, 2 Lt. Colonels, 2 Majors, and Officers
as usual in other regiments, that they consist of an equal number
of privates with other Battalions, that particular care be taken
that no person be appointed to Officer or enlisted in said Battalions,
but such as are good seamen, or so aquainted with maritime
affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea."
It has been theorized by historians, that since the "Tavern"
was host to such notables as George Washington,
Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and members of the
1st and 2nd Continental Congress, that the resolution that
created the Marine Corp was drafted and adopted at the Tavern
Historians have revealed that even though the
"Resolution of the Continental Congress"
provided authority to appoint a Colonel to command the two
Battalions of Marines, the highest rank achieved during the
Revolutionary War was that only of Major
Robert Mullan, then proprietor of the "Tavern,
received word that he was commissioned by an act of the
to seek out volunteers for the formation of the first two
Battalions of Marines, which would be under the direction of
Samuel Nicholas, who had been duly appointed the first
Commandant of the Continental Marines by the Continental Congress
In just under 3 weeks, the two Battalions had been raised, and it
was at that time, that Samuel Nicholas was officially appointed
"Captain of the Marines"
(the 1st Commandant)
The "Continental Marines" enter the Revolutionary War
Samuel Nicholas was duly and officially promoted to Major.
By the summer of 1781, the number of Officers in the
Continental Marines had fallen sharply to only 3 Captains and
only 3 Lieutenents on active duty
A Marine detachment is placed under the command of
John Paul Jones who makes two successful raids on British soil,
the first outside military force to do so in 700 years
Major Samuel Nicholas retires and returns to civilian life
Born: February 1744
Died: August 27,1790
"Captain (Commandant) of the Continental Marines
November 28,1775 until 1781
The Revolutionary War Ends
With the last of the Nations warships sold,
the "Continental Marines" along with the "Continental Navy",
no longer needed, go out of existance
President John Quincy Adams officially signs a bill into law,
creating the "United States Marines"
The next Commandant was not officially appointed until
July 11, 1798
which under the authority of the "Act of 11", the appointment was:
William W. Burrows
In late April 1800, under the "Act of 22",
Burrows was duly and officially promoted to
"Lieutenant Colonel Commandant",
a position he assumed on May 1, 1800 and kept until March 6, 1804
(more to follow as I finish up my research)
I invite you back again to hear
The Few - The Proud - The Marines
Now The Real Story
In the beginning was the word, and the word was God.
In the beginning was God, and all else was darkness and void,
and without form.
So God created the heavens and the Earth.
He created the sun, and the moon, and the stars,
so that light might pierce the darkness.
The Earth, God divided between the land and the sea,
and these he filled with many assorted creatures.
And the dark, salty, slimey creatures that inhabited the
murkey depths of the oceans, God called sailors.
And he dressed them accordingly.
They had little trousers that looked like bells at the bottom.
And their shirts had cute little flaps on them to hide
the hickeys on their necks.
He also gave them long sideburns and shabby looking beards.
God nicknamed them "squids" and banished them to a
lifetime at sea, so that normal folks would not have to
associate with them.
To further identify these unloved creatures, he called them
"petty" and "commodore"
instead of titles worthy of red-blooded men.
And the flakey creatures of the land, God called soldiers.
And with a twinkle in his eye, and a sense of humor that
only he could have, God made their trousers too short
and their covers too large.
He also made their pockets oversized,
so that they may warm their hands.
And to adorn their uniforms, God gave them badges in
quantities that only a dime store owner could appreciate.
And he gave them emblems and crests....
and all sorts of shiny things that glittered....
and devices that dangled.
(When you are God you tend to get carried away)
On the 6th day, he thought about creating some
air creatures for which he designed a Greyhound bus
driver's uniform, especially for Air Force flyboys.
But he discarded the idea during the first week,
and it was not until years later that some apostles
resurrected this theme and established what we now
know as the "wild blue yonder wonders".
And on the 7th day, as you know, God rested.
But on the 8th day, at 0730,
God looked down upon the earth and was not happy.
God was not happy! So he thought about his labors,
and in his divine wisdom God created a divine creature.
And this he called Marine.
And these Marines, who God had created in his own image,
were to be of the air, and of the land, and of the sea.
And these he gave many wonderful uniforms.
Some were green, some were blue with red trim.
And in the early days, some were even a beautiful tan.
He gave them practical fighting uniforms, so that they could
wage war against the forces of Satan and evil.
He gave them service uniforms for their daily work and training.
And he gave them evening and dress uniforms.......
sharp and stylish, handsome things, so that they might
promenade with their ladies on Saturday night
and impress the shit out of everybody!
He even gave them swords, so that people who were not
impressed, could be dealt with accordingly.
And at the end of the 8th day,
God looked down upon the Earth and saw that it was good.
But was God happy?
God was still not happy!
Because in the course of his labors,
he had forgotten one thing.
He did not have a Marine uniform for himself.
But he thought about it, and thought about it,
and finally satisfied himself in knowing that, well.........
Not Everybody Can Be A Marine
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