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 Institute Press
"...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 Not True.
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.