October was a significant month in the history of the Revolutionary War. There was the Proclamation of 1763 issued by George III which prohibited all settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains without guarantees of security from local Native American nations. The intervention in colonial affairs offended the thirteen colonies’ claim to the exclusive right to govern lands to their west. It was in October 1765 that the colony’s declared the Stamp Act unconstitutional as it was a tax levied without their consent. Then, in October 1768 the British troops arrived in Boston in response to political unrest.
As mentioned previously we are still in need of Color Guard members. Our first Color Guard event since reorganizing is coming up on October 19th at the South Orange County Genealogical Society in Mission Viejo. So, if you feel a calling to support this very important chapter function please contact me or Kevin Forrest. We still need a volunteer to fill the JROTC Committee Chair position. This is another important chapter function in the promotion of patriotism in our community.
The California Society Sons of the American Revolution 144th Fall Board of Managers meeting is coming up on November 1-2 and it’s being held right in our own backyard at the Wyndham Irvine Hotel. Our chapter plans to have representatives at the meeting.
Chapter Registrar, Leon Smith, inducted new member, Matthew Ricketts into our chapter. Matthew’s patriot ancestor was Anthony Ricketts who supported American Independence by Signing the Oath of Allegiance in Montgomery County, Maryland. Matthews wife, Laura, was present at the dinner meeting. We want to welcome Matthew to our chapter and hope to see him at our dinner meetings.
L to R: Matthew Rickets and Leon Smith
In addition to inducting a new member, Leon Smith presented to Kevin Forrest two supplemental certificates for his patriot ancestors Timothy Kennard and Isaac Pierce. Patriot Timothy Kennard supported the American Independence by serving as a Private under Captain S. Leighton in Colonel E. Francis’ Regiment in 1776 and served as a Private under Captain Silas Burbank in the 12th Massachusetts Continental Infantry in 1777.
Patriot Isaac Pierce supported the American Independence by serving as a Private in Captain John Haraden’s Company, Colonel Ebeneezer Bridge’s Regiment and as a Private in Captain Joshua Walker’s Company, Colonel David Greene’s Regiment (2nd Middlesex Company).
L to R: Kevin Forrest and Leon Smith
Sept Dinner Meeting: We were treated to tales of peril and adventure by whalers on the Southern California coast by guest speaker and Nautical Historian Bob Minty. In addition to anecdotes on the whaling industry and life aboard ship, we were introduced to myriad artifacts and (scary) devices from the whaling period. Below, Bob receives a Certificate of Appreciation from President Scott Whitman.
L to R: Steve Steinberg, Bob Minty, and Scott Whitman
State and National SAR News
The CASSAR 144th Fall Board of Managers meeting is being held 1-2 November at the Wyndham Irvine Hotel in Irvine and is being hosted by the Orange County Chapter. See CASSAR website for more details.
Upcoming Dates and Events
U.S. Navy Birthday – Sunday, October 13: The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Congress Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 1775.
October Dinner Meeting – Tuesday, October 15: See Page 1 for details.
U.S. Marine Corps Birthday-Sunday, November 10: A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore. The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775 officially forming the “Continental Marines.”
Veteran’s Day – Monday, November 11: This is the special day to remember those who served and fought in the defense of our country.
November Dinner Meeting-Tuesday, November 19th
History of the Continental Marines (1775 – 1783)
In October of 1775, the Second Continental Congress authorized the acquisition, and manning of two vessels for the Continental Navy. Then on November 10th 1775, The Continental Marine Act of 1775 decreed;
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 as 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 for and during the present war with Great Britain and the Colonies; unless dismissed by Congress; that they be distinguished by the names of the First and Second Battalions of Marines.
While it was intended that these battalions were to be drawn from the Continental Army, and used for a planned invasion of Nova Scotia, only the First Battalion was formed by December when British and Hessian reinforcements in Nova Scotia made the amphibious invasion impossible.
The Naval Committee published the Continental Marines uniform regulations on September 5, 1776 that specified the following;
Green coats with white facings (lapels, cuffs, and coat lining), and a black leather high collar to protect against cutlass slashes and to keep a man’s head erect.
It is thought that the green color was selected as it was plentiful in Philadelphia, and it served to distinguish Marines from the Blue coats of the Continental Army and Navy. Also, Sam Nicholas’s hunting club wore green uniforms and hence his recommendation to the committee was for green.
Washington was reluctant to support this and suggested recruitment be made in Philadelphia and New York. Legend has it that the first recruiting post was at a Tavern in Philadelphia, making the Marines the only branch of the armed forces “started” in a bar. The Tun Tavern is often named as the “birthplace” although it is more likely to have been the Conestoga Wagon which was owned by the family of Captain Samuel Nichols, the only Commandant of the Continental Marines.
In December 1775 the initial 5 companies joined the Continental Navy as it headed for the Caribbean. The Battle of Nassau, March 1776, marked the first amphibious invasion by American troops. After 13 Days the Marines had captured 2 forts, the Government House, occupied Nassau and captured large stores of supplies.
In December 1776, a detachment of Marines were sent to Trenton to reinforce Washington’s troops, though their arrival was delayed for the Battle of Trenton, they did provide assistance in the American victory at Princeton. Marines continued to serve alongside the Continental Army thru the end of the war. The shipboard Marines continued to support naval engagements with the successful taking of various prize ships and an “invasion” of the British Isles.
In June 1785, as the Continental Navy and Marines were disbanded, the last official act of the Marines was to escort French crowns, loaned from Louis XVI, from Boston to Philadelphia to enable the opening of the Bank of North America. While the United States Marine Corp was re-established in 1798, they still mark their inception as November 10, 1775.
- Hoffman, Jon T. (2002). USMC: A Complete History. New York City, New York: Universe Publishing.
- Abbot, Willis J. (1890). The Naval History of the United States. New York: Peter Fenelon Collier.
- Millet, Allan R. (1991). Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps. New York City, New York: The Free Press. ISBN 1-59114-790-5.
- Journal of the Continental Congress (9–10 Nov 1775), Committee on Nova Scotia: Proposals; NDAR, II: 972, 957–958.
- Jackson, John W. (1974). The Pennsylvania Navy, 1775–1781. New Brunswick City, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.