(excerpt from Warrior
Culture of the U.S. Marines, copyright 2001 Marion F.
Ask any Marine.
Just ask. He
will tell you that the Marine Corps was born
in Tun Tavern on 10 November 1775.
But, beyond that the Marine's recollection for detail
will probably get fuzzy. So,
here is the straight scoop:
In the year 1685, Samuel Carpenter built a huge
"brew house" in Philadelphia.
He located this tavern on the waterfront at the corner of
Water Street and Tun Alley.
The old English word tun
means a cask, barrel, or keg of beer.
So, with his new beer tavern on Tun Alley, Carpenter
elected to christen the new waterfront brewery with a logical
name, Tun Tavern.
Tun Tavern quickly gained a reputation for serving fine
beer. Beginning 47
years later in 1732, the first meetings of the St. John's No. 1
Lodge of the Grand Lodge of the Masonic Temple were held in the
tavern. An American
of note, Benjamin Franklin, was its third Grand Master.
Even today the Masonic Temple of Philadelphia recognizes
Tun Tavern as the birthplace of Masonic teachings in America.
Roughly ten years later in the early 1740s, the new
proprietor expanded Tun Tavern and gave the addition a new name,
"Peggy Mullan's Red Hot Beef Steak Club at Tun
new restaurant became a smashing commercial success and was
patronized by notable Americans.
In 1747 the St. Andrews Society, a charitable group
dedicated to assisting poor immigrants from Scotland, was
founded in the tavern.
Nine years later, then Col. Benjamin Franklin organized
the Pennsylvania Militia. He
used Tun Tavern as a gathering place to recruit a regiment of
soldiers to go into battle against the Indian uprisings that
were plaguing the American colonies.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Continental
Congress later met in Tun Tavern as the American colonies
prepared for independence from the English Crown.
On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress
commissioned Samuel Nicholas to raise two Battalions of Marines.
That very day, Nicholas set
up shop in Tun Tavern.
He appointed Robert Mullan, then the proprietor of the
tavern, to the job of chief Marine Recruiter -- serving, of
course, from his place of business at Tun Tavern.
Prospective recruits flocked to the tavern, lured by (1)
cold beer and (2) the opportunity to serve in the new Corps of
Marines. So, yes,
the U.S. Marine Corps was indeed born
in Tun Tavern. Needless
to say, both the Marine Corps and the tavern thrived during this
Tun Tavern still lives today.
And, Tun Tavern beer is still readily available
throughout the Philadelphia area.
Further, through magazines it is advertised to Marines
throughout the world.