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Samuel Nicholas born in 1744 became the first commissioned officer of the Continental Marines He was born to Mary and Andrew Nicholas His father was a prosperous Quaker blacksmith Due to his fathers prominence in the community sixteen-year-old Samuel Nicholas joined the exclusive Schuylkill Fishing Company and was a founding member of the Gloucester Fox Hunting Club Both of these endeavors brought him in frequent contact with a myriad of prominent Philadelphians many of who later played leading roles in the revolution In early 1775 Samuel Nicholas had established himself in the Philadelphia business owners community by successfully opening and running a successful tavern the Conestoga wagon This same year the Second Continental Congress began looking for a means of resolving an alarming shortage of seamen for its relatively newborn navy On account of his numerous contacts with prominent revolution leaders Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas as the Captain of Marines on November 5 1775 Five days later on November 10 1775 the Congress authorized the enlistment of two battalions of Marines Recruiting began immediately at Philadelphias Tun Tavern for duty aboard the 24-gun frigate Black Prince later renamed Alfred The owner of Tun Tavern Robert Mullen shortly received his own commissioning as a Captain in the fledgling Marine Corps On November 28 1775 Captain Nicholss commission was confirmed in writing and his pay set at 32 per month by Congress Captain Nicholass tour of duty was eventful without doubt By the end of 1775 he had raised five companies of Marines and sailed with them to the Bahamas Upon arrival in March of 1776 he led his 284 men into battle against the British at Nassau In his capture of 2 forts 88 cannons 15 mortars and untold other military related items nary a drop of blood was spilt This single military movement was the Marines first ever- amphibious landing and additionally was the most successful Naval operation of the entire Revolutionary War Captain Nicholas
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