- Samuel Nicholas
Infobox Military Person
name= Samuel Nicholas
died= August 27, death year and age|1790|1744
caption=1st Commandant of the Marine Corps (1775-1783)
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Battle of Nassau Battle of Trenton Battle of Princeton
Samuel Nicholas (1744 – August 27, 1790) was the first officer commissioned in the
United States Continental Marines(now the United States Marine Corps) and by tradition is considered to be the first Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Nicholas was born in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniain 1744 to Andrew and Mary Schute Nicholas. His father was a blacksmith and his uncle was Attwood Schute, the Mayor of Philadelphia (1756-1758).
On November 5, 1775, Nicolas was commissioned a "Captain of Marines" by the
Second Continental Congress,Destroyer History Foundation biography.] which was the first commission issued in the Continental Naval Service. [Marine Corps biography.] His commission was confirmed in writing on November 28,cite web
title=Marine Captain Samuel Nicholas commission Photograph of commission, signed by John Hancock.] 18 days after the
Continental Congressresolved on November 10, 1775, "That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant-Colonels, two Majors, and other 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 persons be appointed to offices, or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war with Great Britainand the Colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress; that they be distinguished by the names of the First and Second Battalion of Marines." [cite web|accessdate=2007-03-03 |url=http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Docs_Speeches/Continentialcongressestmarines1775.htm
title=Resolution Establishing the Continential Marines
date=November 10, 1775
work=Historical Documents, Orders and Speeches
publisher=History Division, United States Marine Corps]
Captain Nicholas no sooner received official confirmation of his appointment to office than he established recruiting headquarters at
Tun Tavern, Philadelphia. By January 1776, having recruited a sufficient number of Marines to man the vessels that comprised the Continental Navyin the waters of Philadelphia, Capt. Nicholas assumed command of the Marine Detachment on board the "Alfred". With Commodore Esek Hopkinsin command, "Alfred" set sail from Philadelphia on the morning of January 4, 1776. The following month witnessed the baptismal fire of the Marines.
Battle of Nassau
Lord Dunmore, with the British force under his command, had collected a store of arms and provisions at
New Providence, in the Bahamas, and had done a great deal of injury along the Colonial coast, particularly the shore of Virginia. Commodore Hopkins had been ordered to proceed to Abaco in the Bahamas, and from there to operate against the force of Lord Dunmore. Here the Commodore decided to make an attack on New Providence, capture the enemy's stores and cripple his supplies. Capt Nicholas was placed in command of the landing party, which consisted of about 250 Marines and sailors. This, the first successful landing engaged in by Continental Marines, led to the capture of Nassau on March 3, 1776 without a fight.
On April 6, 1776, the Marines participated in the first naval battle between an American squadron and the British, when His Majesty's Ship "Glasgow" blundered across the path of the squadron.
Promoted to Major
On June 25, 1776, Congress placed Nicholas "at the head of the Marines with the rank of Major." Accordingly, Commodore Hopkins was advised to send Major Nicholas to Philadelphia, with dispatches for the Continental Congress. With notification of his promotion he was ordered to report to the Marine Committee. The Committee detached him from "Alfred" and ordered him to remain in the city, "to discipline four companies of Marines and prepare them for service as Marine guards for the frigates on the stocks." Having recruited and thoroughly organized four companies, he requested arms and equipment for them.
In December 1776, he wrote Congress, "The enemy having overrun the Jerseys, and our army being greatly reduced, I was ordered to march with three of the companies to be under the command of His Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief." This was the first example of a battalion of Marines about to serve as an actual fighting unit under the direct command of Army authority. The Marines did not, however, engage in the attack on Trenton, which followed General
George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River. They accomplished the most arduous task of ferrying the Continentals across the river.
After the first
Battle of Trenton, the battalion of Marines under the command of Maj. Nicholas participated in battle with a detachment of Cornwallis's main army at Princeton, New Jersey. During the ensuing months Nicholas's battalion served both as infantry and artillery, participating in several skirmishes.
Following the British evacuation of Philadelphia in June 1778, Marine Barracks were reestablished and recruiting renewed. From then until the close of the war, Nicholas's duties at Philadelphia were somewhat similar to those of later Commandants. Moreover, he was actively in charge of recruiting, and at times acted as Muster Master of the Navy.
On November 20, 1779, he wrote Congress requesting that he be put in charge of the Marine Detachment aboard "America", then in process of construction, but Congress was adamant in its intention that Nicholas remain in Philadelphia.
Return to civilian life
After the disbandment of the Continental Marines and Navy following the end of the
American Revolutionary Warin 1783, Nicholas returned to civilian life. He died in Philadelphia during an epidemic of yellow feverand is buried in the Friends Graveyard at Arch Street Friends Meeting House.
Three ships in the
United States Navyhave been named USS "Nicholas" in his honor.
History of the United States Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps
List of Historically Important U.S. Marines
title=Major Samuel Nicolas, Continental Marines
work=Who's Who in Marine Corps History
publisher=History Division, United States Marine Corps
title=Major Samuel Nicolas, Continental Marines (ca. 1744-1790
publisher=Destroyer History Foundation
*cite journal|url=http://www.ussnicholas.org/first_officer.html |accessdate=2007-03-03
title=Samuel Nicholas, First Officer of American Marines
author=Major Louis Estell Fagan, II, USMC
journal=Marine Corps Gazette |volume=XVIII |issue=3
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Samuel Nicholas Smallwood — (1772 September 30, 1824) was the fifth and seventh mayor of Washington, D.C. and was the first popularly elected mayor of the city. Appointed to a one year term in 1819, Smallwood was elected the following year to a two year term, which he… … Wikipedia
Nicholas Rowe (dramatist) — Nicholas Rowe (1674 ndash; 1718), English dramatist, poet and miscellaneous writer, was appointed Poet Laureate in 1715.LifeNicholas Rowe was born in Little Barford, Bedfordshire, England, son of John Rowe (d. 1692), barrister and sergeant at law … Wikipedia
Nicholas Rowe (writer) — Nicholas Rowe. Guilt is the source of sorrow, tis the fiend, Th avenging fiend, that follows us behind, With whips and stings Nicholas Rowe (20 June 1674 – 6 December 1718), English dramatist, poet and miscellaneous writer, was appointed Poet… … Wikipedia
Nicholas M. Nolan — Nicholas M. Nolan … Wikipedia
Nicholas Easton — 4th and 8th President of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations In office 1650–1651 Preceded by John Smith Succeeded by Samuel Gorton (as President of Providence and Warwick) … Wikipedia
Nicholas Ray — Born August 7, 1911(1911 08 07) Galesville, Wisconsin, U.S. Died June 16, 1979(1979 06 16) (aged 67) … Wikipedia
Nicholas Samuel, 5th Viscount Bearsted — Nicholas Alan Samuel, 5th Viscount Bearsted (22 January 1950 ndash;) is a British peer.BiographyLike his ancestors, Samuel was educated at Eton College and New College, Oxford. He married Caroline Jane Sacks on 30 January 1975 and the couple have … Wikipedia
Nicholas Frederick Brady — Nicholas F. Brady Nicholas Frederick Brady (* 11. April 1930 in New York City) war Finanzminister der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika unter Präsident Ronald Reagan und George H. W. Bush. Darüber hinaus ist er bekannt für den Entwurf des… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Nicholas Noyes — was a colonial minister in Salem, Massachusetts during the time of the Salem witch trials. He was the second minister, called the Teacher , to Rev. John Higginson. During the Salem witch trials, Noyes acted as the official minister of the trials … Wikipedia
Samuel Ier — de Bulgarie Samuel Ier de Bulgarie (bulgare: Самуил, Samouïl) fut commandant militaire bulgare (général) de 980 à 997, et tsar de 997 à 1014. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Hypothèse … Wikipédia en Français