ASSOCIATORS. Certain associations were military rather than political. The most famous was the volunteer military group called The Associators, founded on 21 November 1747 at Philadelphia by, among others, Benjamin Franklin. Created because the pacifist Quakers who controlled Pennsylvania's government would not sanction a compulsory militia, the organization was as much an assertion of the rising political fortunes of non-Quakers as it was a military unit. The prominence of its founders, rather than any military necessity, won government recognition for the organization on 7 December. Officially organized on 29 December 1747 as the Associated Regiment of Foot of Philadelphia, the unit grew to five battalions in 1775 and was renamed the Associators of the City and Liberties of Philadelphia. These Philadelphia Associators were among the militia forces that reinforced Washington in the dark days of December 1776. The Associators were reorganized in 1777 as the Philadelphia Brigade of Militia under the command of John Cadwalader. On 11 April 1793 they were again reorganized, this time as volunteer infantry in the Pennsylvania militia.
revised by Harold E. Selesky