NICHOLAS, SAMUEL. (1744–1790). Senior Continental marine officer. A native of Philadelphia, Samuel Nicholas was appointed captain of marines on 28 November 1775, and his commission was confirmed prior to that of any other officer of the Continental naval service. It remains uncertain whether he achieved his appointment because of his vocation or through a recommendation by one or more of his many prominent Philadelphia acquaintances. He led the storming of Fort Montagu, New Providence, Bahamas, on 3-4 March 1776, and on 25 June was promoted to major. He commanded the Marine battalion of 150 men that reinforced General George Washington's army at Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey, on 2-3 January 1777. From 1777 to 1780 he executed orders for the Marine Committee and the Board of Admiralty as a major of marines and as a muster master. He died in 1790 in Philadelphia.
SEE ALSO Marines.
revised by Charles R. Smith