On this day 1775…founding of the USMC

On this day in 1775 the United States Marine Corps was founded – in one of the most famous taverns in Revolutionary America.

The Tun Tavern and brewery in Philadelphia was founded in 1686 by one Josh Carpenter, a Quaker, on the road that led to Carpenter’s Wharf on the Delaware (Josh’s brother, Samuel was a successful merchant in Barbados).

Then, as now, taverns and pubs were handy local meeting places and among the Tun Tavern’s other claims to fame is that it was the first places to host the inaugural meeting of the Grand Lodge of the Masonic Temple of Philadelphia, in 1732.

It was also home to the Societies of St George and St Andrew, charitable organisations set up to aid needy arrivals to the New World from England and Scotland respectively.

During the American War of Independence, the tavern played an important role in the political and military foundations of the nascent American state – Philadelphia being the headquarters of course of the Continental Congress.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the Congress met at the tavern on at least one occasion – and Benjamin Franklin had drummed up the Pennsylvania Militia there some 20 years before to fight the French and their Indian allies coming down from Canada.

On 10 November 1775, the Second Continental Congress gave a commission to Samuel Nicholas to raise two battalions of marines for service aboard the ships of the new American navy.

Nicholas, a mason of the temple that met at the Tun Tavern, immediately established his recruiting headquarters at the pub (although some say it was in fact at another pub called the Conestoga Waggon that Nicholas’s family owned) and by January 1776 had filled his quota of recruits.

The new Marine battalions first saw action at the Battle of Nassau on 4 January 1776.

The Tun Tavern, sadly, did not survive the War of Independence, burning down in 1781 (the war ended in 1783) and its former site is now occupied by Interstate 95.

Nonetheless, on 10 November every year serving and former Marines will raise a toast to their Corps (241 years old this year) and its founding place, a Philadelphia pub and brewery.

More: Historically interesting pubs

One Response to “On this day 1775…founding of the USMC”

  1. George Potter says:

    My father was a Wake Island Marine, ExO to the commander of the Marine contingent stationed there. He later retired as a Brig. Gen.

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