GAMBLE OF THE MARINES
Capt. Raymond J. Toner, USN
VG/VG--. Price-clipped jacket rather ratty, with tape repairs (see picture). Now preserved in a mylar protector.
(Chicago: Albert Whitman & Company, 1963). Condensed revision for young readers.
Illustrated by Jack Merriweather and the Author. Decorated endpages. Illustrated appendix on
traditions and customs of the Marines. 208 pages.
"A Marine in the tradition of Marines." This describes John Gamble.
John Marshall Gamble was born in New Jersey in 1790. His Irish-born father, William, served as a militia officer in the American Revolution. John was one of four brothers, all appointed naval midshipmen. John, however, was the only Marine among them.
~~~ In July, 1809, newly-appointed Second Lieutenant John Gamble, USMC, reported to
the Marine barracks at Brooklyn, New York. At 21, new orders sent him to command the
Marines on the frigate Essex, outfitting for sea.
~~~ Already the tension that would lead to the War of 1812 was in the air. American ports were blockaded
by the British to prevent trade with Britain's enemy, France. American seamen taken on the high seas were forced to serve in the British Royal Navy.
~~~ War was declared on June 18, 1812. The United States Navy numbered only sixteen ships.
the Essex under Captain David Porter being one of them. Unable because of the blockade to return to the United States from a sweep of the South Atlantic, Captain Porter sailed into the Pacific to raid British whaling operations and protect American shipping.
It is at this point that Captain Porter opens his story, Gamble of the Marines.