Archibald Henderson

Archibald Henderson

Infobox Military Person
name= Archibald Henderson
born= birth date|1783|1|21
died= death date and age|1859|1|6|1783|1|21
placeofbirth= Colchester, Fairfax County, Virginia
placeofdeath= Washington, D.C.

caption= 5th Commandant of the Marine Corps (1820-1859)
nickname= "Grand old man of the Marine Corps"
allegiance= United States of America
branch= United States Marine Corps
serviceyears= 1806-1859
rank= Colonel (Brevet Brigadier General)
commands= Commandant of the Marine Corps
battles= War of 1812 Indian wars Mexican-American War

Archibald Henderson (January 21, 1783 – January 6, 1859) was the longest-serving Commandant of the Marine Corps, serving from 1820 to 1859. He is often referred to as the "Grand old man of the Marine Corps," serving in the United States Marine Corps for 53 years.


Born in Colchester, Fairfax County, Virginia, Henderson was commissioned in the Marine Corps on 4 June, 1806. He served aboard USS "Constitution" during her famous victories in the War of 1812. He participated in several shipboard engagements and was decorated for bravery.

From September 16, 1818 to March 2, 1819, Henderson was the acting Commandant. On 17 October, 1820, at the age of 37, LtCol Henderson was appointed as the Commandant of the Marine Corps. He served in this position for a little over 38 years — the longest of any officer to hold that position.

Henderson is credited with thwarting attempts by President Andrew Jackson to combine the Marine Corps with the Army in 1829. Instead, Congress passed the "Act for the Better Organization of the Marine Corps" in 1834, [cite web
title=An Act for the Better Organization of the United States Marine Corps
author=U.S. Congress
date=30 June 1834
] ensuring the Marines would remain part of the United States Department of the Navy.

He went into the field as Commandant during the Indian campaigns in Florida and Georgia during 1836 and 1837, and was promoted brevet brigadier general for his actions in these campaigns. Tradition holds that he pinned a note to his door that read, "Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over." [cite web
title= "Gone to fight the Indians"
work=United States Marine Corps

Marines also fought during the Mexican-American War during his tenure as Commandant. The sword presented to Henderson upon completion of the action was inscribed with the words, "From the Halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli" giving the opening words to the Marines' hymn.

General Henderson died suddenly on January 6, 1859. He is buried in the Congressional Cemetery. [cite web
title=Gen. Archibald Henderson
work=Historic Congressional Cemetery
publisher=Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery
] According to Marine lore, the Colonel Commandant had attempted to will his home — actually government-provided quarters in which he had lived for 38 years — to his heirs, having forgotten that they were government owned. [cite web
title=Archibald Henderson Willed the Commandant's Quarters to His Heirs
work=Marine Corps Legends

USS "Henderson" (AP-1), and Henderson Hall Barracks were named for him.

ee also

*Commandant of the Marine Corps
*List of Historically Important U.S. Marines



:This article incorporates public domain text and image from [ the official USMC biography] .
*cite web|url=
title=Colonel and Brevet Brigadier General Archibald Henderson, USMC
work=Who's Who in Marine Corps History
publisher=History Division, United States Marine Corps

Further reading

*cite journal
first=Joseph G.
title=With Fidelity and Effectiveness: Archibald Henderson's Lasting Legacy to the U.S. Marine Corps
journal=Journal of Military History
issue= 4
date=October 1998
publisher=Society for Military History

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Archibald Henderson (disambiguation) — Archibald Henderson may be either: * Archibald Henderson (1783 1859) United States Marine * Archibald Henderson (politician) (1768 1822) United States Congressman from North Carolina * Archibald Henderson (professor) (born in 1877) Writer,… …   Wikipedia

  • Archibald Henderson (professor) — Archibald Henderson (July 17, 1877 – December 6, 1963) was an American professor of mathematics who wrote on a variety of subjects, including drama and history. He was born at Salisbury, N. C., was educated at the University of North Carolina… …   Wikipedia

  • Archibald Henderson (politician) — Archibald Henderson (1768 – 1822), was a Congressional Representative from North Carolina; born near Williamsboro, Granville County, North Carolina, August 7, 1768; attended the common schools, and was graduated from Springer College; moved to… …   Wikipedia

  • Henderson (surname) — Henderson is a common surname.The surname Henderson is of Scottish origin and means son of Henry . The name is derived from the Scots Gaelic clan MacEanruig of Glencoe which was later anglified to Henderson and McKendrick. Other areas of Scotland …   Wikipedia

  • Henderson (Familienname) — Henderson ist ein schottischer Familienname. Herkunft und Bedeutung Henderson bedeutet „Sohn des Henry“ und entspricht damit deutschen Patronymen wie Hinrichs und Heinsohn. Varianten Henson Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Archibald Philip Primrose — Archibald Primrose, 5. Earl of Rosebery, Premierminister des Vereinigten Königreichs, 1894 1895 Archibald Philip Primrose, 5. Earl of Rosebery (* 7. Mai 1847 in London; † 21. Mai 1929 in Epsom, Surrey) war ein britischer Staatsmann …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Archibald Primrose, 5. Earl of Rosebery — Archibald Primrose, 5. Earl of Rosebery, Premierminister des Vereinigten Königreichs, 1894 1895 Archibald Philip Primrose, 5. Earl of Rosebery (* 7. Mai 1847 in London; † 21. Mai 1929 in Epsom, Surrey) war ein britischer Staatsmann …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Archibald Hunter Arrington — (* 13. November 1809 bei Nashville, Nash County, North Carolina; † 20. Juli 1872 ebd.) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker (Demokratische Partei), der den Bundesstaat North Carolina im US Repräsentantenhaus und im Konföderiertenkongress… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Archibald McIntyre — (1773 May 6, 1858 Albany, Albany County, New York) was an American merchant and politician.LifeHe was born in Scotland, and came to the United States when still very young.He was a member from Montgomery County of the New York State Assembly from …   Wikipedia

  • Archibald Hunter Arrington Williams — (22 October 1842 5 September 1895) was a Democratic U.S. Congressman from North Carolina between 1891 and 1893.Born near Louisburg, North Carolina, he attended local schools and then Emory and Henry College in Virginia. He enlisted in the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.