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First Name: Franklin

Last Name: Wharton

Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Date of Birth: 23 July 1767

Date of Death: 01 September 1818

Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Years Served:
Franklin Wharton

•  Quasi-War (Franco-American War) (1798 - 1800)
•  War of 1812


Franklin Wharton
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps

Third Commandant of USMC

Franklin Wharton was born on 23 July 1767 in Philadelphia, PA. Wharton was born into a prominent Philadelphia family, the son of Joseph Wharton.

Wharton gave up a successful business career to enter the U.S. Marine Corps and was commissioned as a Captain in August 1798. Captain Wharton's first duties as a Marine officer were performed at the Marine Barracks, Philadelphia. Within a few weeks, however, he was assigned to the frigate USS United States, where he served as Officer-in-Charge of the vessel's Marine Detachment until the close of the Quasi-War with France in 1801.

At age 36 and a Marine officer for only five years, he became Lieutenant Colonel and Marine Corps Commandant on 6 March 1804. He was the first Commandant to occupy the Commandant's House at Marine Barracks, Washington, DC. As Commandant, Lt. Col. Wharton ordered a detachment of Marines to Georgia and Florida in 1811 to cooperate with U.S. Army troops in an attempt to subdue an Indian uprising.

Under Wharton's leadership, Marines participated in many important engagements during the War of 1812. They saw action at Annapolis, Fort McHenry, Portsmouth, Craney Island, Bladensburg and New Orleans, and fought under General Henry Dearborn on the northern frontier. At sea, they participated in virtually every important naval battle, serving aboard warships and privateers on the Great Lakes, the Atlantic, and the Pacific.

Marines fought under Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry on Lake Erie and under Commodore Isaac Chauncey on Lake Ontario. Aboard the frigate USS Constitution, Marines were important factors in its victorious battles against HMS Guerriere, HMS Java, HMS Levant, and HMS Cyane. Those aboard the Wasp saw action in the vessel's engagements with HMS Cyane, HMS Reindeer, and HMS Avon. Marines serving aboard the frigate USS United States were commended for their efficiency in its fight with the HMS Macedonian.

Death and Burial

Lieutenant Colonel Commandant Franklin Wharton died in office on 1 September 1818 in New York City. He is buried at New York's Old Trinity Church Yard in Manhattan, NY.

Honoree ID: 3213   Created by: MHOH




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