Robert Mullan, son of Peggy (of Red Hot Beef Steak fame), was the official proprietor of Tun Tavern and was dubbed "Chief Marine Recruiter." Nicholas and Mullan recruited skilled marksmen to ...
Robert Mullan was the proprietor of Tun Tavern on Water Street in Philadelphia. He assumed that position following the death of his father in 1774. Tun Tavern was erected in 1686 at the intersection of King Street (later called Water Street) and Tun Alley. It was built by Joshua Carpenter on the caraway that led to Carpenter's Wharf.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Tun Tavern's owner and popular patriot, Robert Mullan, became his first captain and recruiter. They began gathering support and were ready for action by early 1776. Each year, the Marine Corps marks November 10th, The Marine Corps Birthday, with a celebration of the brave spirit which compelled these men and thousands since to defend our country as United States Marines.
On November 10, 1775, Robert Mullan, the proprietor of the Tavern and son of Peggy Mullan, was commissioned by an act of Congress to raise the first two battalions of Marines, under the leadership of Samuel Nicholas, the first appointed Commandant of the Continental 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.
The tavern’s manager, Robert Mullan, was the "chief Marine Recruiter". Though legend places its first recruiting post at Tun Tavern, the historian Edwin Simmons surmises that it was more likely the Conestoga Waggon [ sic ], a tavern owned by the Nicholas family.