R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED! Legends and Myths Of The Corps BIRTHPLACE OF THE CORPS, 1775--TUN TAVERN
OR CONESTOGA WAGON?
From the book, The Marine Corps Story, by J.
Robert Moskin, 1992, Little, Brown and Company
"...The two battalions were never raised; but on
November 28, the Congress commissioned thirty-two
year old Capt. Samuel Nicholas, a Philadelphia
Quaker, and innkeeper and a blacksmith's son, as
the first Marine officer. A hundred volunteers,
recruited in Rhode Island, arrived at
Philadelphia by December 5...probably signed up
in Robert Mullan's Tun Tavern."
And, from the book, The United States Marines A
History, by Edwin Howard Simmons. 1998, Naval
"...According to legend, the recruiting redezvous
was Tun Tavern, but it is more likely that it was
the Conestoga Wagon, a tavern owned by the
Nicholas family on Market Street between Fourth
and Fifth Streets."
And, from the book, Marine Corps Book Of Lists,
Albert A. Nofi, 1999, Combined Publishing
"...Eight Hoary Old Marine Corps Legends That Are
1. The first Marine recruiting station
was established in Tun Tavern, in Philadelphia,
the proprietor of which was so adept at securing
recruits, by liberally plying them with drink,
that he was made a captain in the Corps. Alas for
"romance," the story is untrue. It probably got
its start from the fact that Samuel Nicholas,
effectively the first Marine Commandant, actually
did own a tavern in Philadelphia, the Conestoga
Wagon, which apparently served as his
headquarters for a time. However the owner of the
Tun Tavern did become a Marine officer, about a
year after the creation of the Corps, which
probably gave rise to the legend.