Samuel Nicholas

Samuel Nicholas (1744 - 1790)

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Major Samuel Nicholas
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 5 Mar 1778 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 25 May 2020 | Created 8 Aug 2017 | Last significant change: 25 May 2020
11:32: Jeffry Johnson edited the Primary Photo for Samuel Nicholas (1744-1790). [Thank Jeffry for this]
This page has been accessed 345 times.
Major Samuel Nicholas served Continental Marines during the American Revolution
Service started:
Service ended:
Preceded by
newly created
1st Commandant of the Marine Corps
Succeeded by
William Burrows


He was the first officer commissioned in the United States Continental Marines (predecessor to the United States Marine Corps) and by tradition is considered to be the first Commandant of the Marine Corps - served 11/28/1775 to 8/27/1783.

After the disbandment of the Continental Marines and Navy following the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, Nicholas returned to civilian life and became an original member of the Pennsylvania Society of the Cincinnati.

Mary Jenkins married 5 March 1778, the dashing young Captain Samuel Nicholas, first commandant of the U.S. Marines, who was buried in Friends graveyard, Philadelphia, 27 August 1790, age 46. Nicholas died intestate. [1]


  1. Price, Norma Adams. From Meetinghouse to Statehouse 1683-1783 with Descendants of George Gray Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly by Mary Stanley Field Liddell. Wallingford, PA: Historic Delaware County Inc., 1976. Page 64.

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Samuel is 17 degrees from Donald Howard, 13 degrees from Julia Howe and 15 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.