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Captain Samual Nicholas

First Commandant of the Marine Corps

This is a photo of the Commisioning Warrant issued to Captain Samual Nicholas
by the Continental Congress in 1775.

Following is a transcription of the text of the Warrant.


The Delegates of the United Congress of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode-Island, Connecticut, New-York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, The Counties of New Castle, Kent, and Suffix of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia


We, reposing special Trust and Confidence in your Patriotism, Valor, Conduct, and Fidelity, DO by these Presents constitute and appoint you to be CAPTAIN OF MARINES--------------------in the service of the Thirteen United Colonies of North America, turned out for the defense of American Liberty, and for repelling every hostile Invasion thereof. You are therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the duty of CAPTAIN OF MARINES by doing and performing all Mannor of Things thereunto belonging. And we do strictly charge and require all Officers, Marines, and Seamen under your Command to be obedient to your orders as CAPTAIN OF MARINES And you are to follow such Orders and Directions from Time to Time, as you shall receive from this or a future Congress of the United Colonies, or Committee of Congress for that Purpose appointed, or Commander in Chief for the Time being of the Navy of the United Colonies, or any other of your superior Officers according to the Rules and Dicipline of War, the Usage of the Sea, and the Instructions herewith given you in Pursuance of the Trust imposed in you. This Commision to continue in Force until revoked by this or a future Congress.
By Order of the Congress

John Hancock


Samual Nicholas served as Commandant from 1775-1781 and was promoted to the rank of Major. The Commandant of the Marine Corps was the first officer of the U.S. Naval Service whose commission was ratified by congress.

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